Week 12 – In which I took part in ‘Wear a Hat Day’ for Brain Tumour Research



 5 ½ Things you need to know about brain cancer:

(taken from Brain Tumour Research, the charity I supported with Wear a Hat Day):

Official 2016 Wear a Hat Day Poster

Official 2016 Wear a Hat Day Poster

  1. More children and adults under the age of 40 die of a brain tumour than from any other cancer
  2. Up to 40% of all cancers eventually spread to the brain
  3. For those affected by brain cancer the chance to survive for more than 5 years is below 20% (about 60% die within a year of diagnosis)
  4. Brain cancer is one of the few cancers still on the rise – it’s gone up by about 24% since 1970
  5. Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours, which is why Brain Tumour Research aims at fundraising 7 million GBP every year.

    . . . and a half:
    This is only an unimportant side-point, which is why it doesn’t justify a full bullet-point. I have always been fascinated by the brain and neuroscience, and even applied to Columbia University for a combined PhD from the Business School and the Neuroscience Department. So fundraising for Brain Tumour Research was a no-brainer – sorry, this pun really was unintended.


‘Wear a Hat’ Day

Wear a Hat Day has been going for the past six years. It is being supported by celebrities as diverse as Sarah Beeny, the entire cast of War Horse and Philip Treacy, milliner to the stars. (Remember Princess Beatrice’s headgear at the last Royal Wedding, inspiration to many a Photoshop project? Tracey’s creation).


So I sprang into action

The strategy meeting just got a little more stylish . . . 

The strategy meeting just got a little more stylish . . . 

I saw the posters in the tube and thought “I get to wear a hat – or 12, and support a cause I believe in. What’s not to like?” I alerted the office about my plans, set up a ‘JustGiving page’, and advertised across all Social Media platforms. I then initiated a WEAR A HAT lunch (at work) and WEAR A HAT afterwork-drinks at a nearby bar. Et voila!


My office played along

While it was the Thursday before Good Friday, everybody still around in the office and not prepping for upcoming pitches gave the initiative their full enthusiasm. My hatboxes were ransacked, as if we were playing dress-up back in school and many of my colleagues had brought their own prized possessions, - from a yellow, feathery angry-bird ushanka, to a real policeman’s hat and even a First World War grenade helmet.

A ‘chugger’ is born

It turns out I’m a pretty convincing (read: pushy) fundraiser, if I believe in the cause. (This was news to me, as I hadn’t done any fundraising before). One friend even referred to me as a 'chugger' (a portmanteau of "charity" and "mugger"), a term used to refer to (paid) street fundraisers. My original goal was to raise 100 GBP, - as this was surpassed with my third donation, I discreetly doubled the target. And surpassed that also nice by 100 pounds. My tally has been going up since this blog and video went live and currently stands at 420 GBP, 21 donations and 210% goal achievement. Thank you everybody! I couldn’t have done it without you. If you feel this cause is close to your heart, my JustGiving Page is still active and continuous to joyously accept your donations. 

I walked away from the day exhilarated in the feeling of having done something helpful for science and brain cancer patients.  And every time another donation comes in, that sense of exhilaration returns. 

Thank you Brain Tumour Research for this very valuable challenge. 

Please check back next week, when I'm dancing with the Royal Ballet.