Sunday 25th September saw Radio Marsden volunteer Barry Alston complete the Big Chat, bringing our support of the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity’s Big C Challenge to a close for 2016. What a Big Chat it was – midday Saturday to midday Sunday, talking to anyone about anything! Barry was ably assisted by Caitlin Alston and Radio Marsden Programme Controller James Hamilton. All three completed an incredible 24 hours live on air.
Topics ranged from the history of Radio Marsden, to poorly translated street signs in South Korea and a government prize draw for correcting them. There was also talk of Star Trek Conventions and the lyrics to songs from Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’ – in case you’re wondering, Barry knew them better than anyone else in the studio! We even had live music from The Aultones.
Radio Marsden’s soul supremo Alan Champ popped into the studio to talk about his own Big C associated show, which featured two hours of ‘C’ associated Soul tracks, as well as the Northern Soul boom of the 1970′s, featured in the film of the same name. “It was incredibly accurate,” Alan told Barry. “One of the weird things about the Soul scene is that the punters can be as famous as the DJ’s and artistes. You had the well-known dancers, one guy called Jethro who did amazing back-flips, and so on. They captured that. It’s regarded as very, very authentic.”
Barry also spoke to a number of Big C Challengers about their involvement with the campaign and heard their inspirational stories. Challengers included Joanne Hill, who has been making Christmas Cards during her treatment. Originally aiming to complete 30, Joanne told us she’d completed well over that number, and hoped to do more, explaining that the Big C was a good opportunity for anyone to get involved: “You don’t have to be skilled in one area. Everyone can take part,” Joanne said. “As you’re giving back, you’re feeling good within yourself.”
Challengers also spoke of their association with the Royal Marsden to Barry, and what the hospital meant to them. “I call the Marsden my healing space,” Joanne explained. “When I was diagnosed with cancer, I was in denial for a couple of days because I thought they’d got it wrong. And as people who have been through it will know, it’s the treatment that makes you feel ill. So I tried to turn it around from thinking negatively – focusing on feeling unwell – to thinking of it as my healing space.”
Tracey Howell, whose husband is currently being treated by the Marsden, has raised over £2,000 from a cake sale and prize draw at her hairdressing salon in Worcester Park. “We wanted to give them something back,” said Tracey. “From the moment we came to the Marsden, everyone has been absolutely amazing. Everyone is so kind and friendly and puts your mind at ease. They tell you the honest facts, which you need to hear, but you know what they tell you, you can listen to. They’re always supportive. We had a brilliant team.”
Barry’s 24-hour Big Chat was the culmination of a number of Big-C related outings on Radio Marsden throughout September, which included Alan & Terry from our Thursday Night team taking on the Big C Chopstick Challenge (see the video on our Facebook Page).
We’re proud to have supported this important campaign and send our huge thanks and congratulations to all of the amazing Big C Challengers, and to everyone who spent time chatting to us during the show.
You can make a donation to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity here.