Camber couple praised by Royal Princesses after raising staggering sum for teenage cancer charity

A couple from Camber have received royal praise after raising an incredible £830,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust charity.

Thursday, 16th July 2020, 1:07 pm
Mike and Pascale O'Leary SUS-200715-095801001

Mike and Pascale O’Leary raised the money over a 13 year period after being moved by the story of a 14 year old girl who died from cancer.

This month they were honoured at the inaugural Teenage Cancer Trust Awards where they took part in an online Zoom call with Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

Both the Princesses were awestruck when they learned how much Mike, 73, and Pascale, 60, had raised for the charity, with Beatrice saying, “Wow that’s an incredible amount of money!”

Teenage Cancer Trust awards SUS-200715-095724001

The couple were among seven people from across the UK to be honoured by the Princesses.

Princess Eugenie said: “It has been a real honour for Beatrice and I to present these awards to such dedicated, kind and inspiring individuals.

“Hearing what it has been like working on the frontline, the personal stories that drive fundraising and how inspirational young people have campaigned in the face of adversity – and all during a global pandemic - will stay with us forever.

“Beatrice and I have grown up with Teenage Cancer Trust. We have been inspired by our mother, who is an Honorary Patron of this incredible charity, and support it in what is its – and my - 30th year. We’ve shared many experiences along the way and people like these worthy award winners truly inspire us.”

Mike, who said he felt privileged to receive the award, spoke of inspiration being the key to fundraising. He said: “To get involved initially you need an inspiration and ours came from the vision and dreams of Adrian, who with his wife Myrna Whiteson founded the charity.

“We’ve managed to over the years, I think, inspire a few other people and got them involved and whatever we can do, we will do.”

Undeterred during lockdown, Mike and Pascale were as determined to support the charity as ever and sprang into action by organising a virtual singing challenge called ‘Can you Hear the People Sing?’ The challenge raised an incredible £23,000.

Mike said: “The biggest thing to come out of this is maybe another 300 people now know about Teenage Cancer Trust.

“My nephew did an online DJ night and raised £720 and these are people who’ve never heard of it. They’re youngsters, kids. Some of these will go on to inspire someone else. That’s the biggest thing we try to do is to get people involved if we can.”

Kate Collins, Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust, said: “These awards recognise the fantastic contributions and achievements of people.