Friends, relatives, workmates, pals, chums, confidantes, admirers and anyone who knows Eamonn Martin.
As we all know Eamonn has been diagnosed with a terminal form of lung cancer (Mesothelioma, the one associated with asbestos) and although he's not a man to take things lying down and is doing anything and everything to stare this thing in the eye and let it know it's in for a fight, by his own words the outlook isn't looking great and this year might in fact be his last to enjoy all his faculties. In the main we're talking physical mobility, energy, opportunity to travel/be mobile, not be surrounded by doctors, medication, hospitals etc. and be there in mind, body and spirit to enjoy whatever precious quality time he has left with his amazing wife Sarah and their two children Jonah and Megan.
If, like me you want to feel less useless and want to do something positive, anything at all to show Eamonn your appreciation of his friendship and to let him know you care, to let him know you've respected, admired, hated, loved, been frustrated by, wanted to strangle him or indeed give him a big sloppy kiss then here's your chance.
I think we have a few months (although this really does depend on a gazillion issues medical, logistical and the like) to raise enough cash to send Eamonn, Sarah and the kids on a holiday of a lifetime. Timing will play a big part in this so please act as soon as you can so we get an idea of exactly the shape and size of what this is going to be.
Whether we wind up with just enough to afford a wet weekend in Blackpool in low season or a trip to the moon and around the stars will be dictated by the final kitty on cut-off day (which I have to say will be a moving target but we have to start with a goal date and goal amount). We're aiming high at a target of £6,000 by the end of June, if we beat that we're going for double figures with as tight a schedule as it takes!!
I know deep down we must be able to get something worthwhile!
Maybe whilst contributing to Eamonn's page you could make some suggestions for where the trip of a lifetime should be and by what form of transport! Personally I'm thinking BA first class to Cape town, see the sights, a few good restaurants and a night or two on the razzle tripping the light fantastic with Sarah and then a balloon ride over the Serengeti checking out the majestic plains and wildlife! Maybe a trip to the Ice Hotel (I know, I know but some people actually love this brrrrrrrrrrrrr), maybe Vegas taking in a few shows, maybe walking along the Great Wall of China (not all of it I'm sure they'd be well knackered).
The last time Eamonn and I discussed him having a trip he did suggest a short ride on the Orient Express with just Sarah (romantic old devil, there's no stopping him). I'm sure we can get him that and a lot more. Maybe two holidays; one with and one without the kids? Maybe three holidays and leave the Mrs at home!! Anyway, this whole thing is budget dependant and of course dependant on the optimal timing of Eamonn's circumstances and when this all makes best sense for him and his condition.
Please do what you can, maybe do a bit every now and again. We have some time to get the most out of this situation, we need to pick the holiday, plan it, work it around any medical treatments or appointments, get time off school for the kids etc etc.
Of course a big thank you well in advance to everyone who participates and with a bit of luck and a generous approach from all Eamonn's friends and relatives we should soon have a different website showing a whole heap of photos of Eamonn, Sarah and the kids in a balloon flying over the great wall of China dressed like Eskimos whilst clutching a fist full of gambling chips from a Vegas casino...you know what I mean.
Please, please be generous and between us we'll knock this one right out of the park. Please also note that any and all contributions are completely confidential and nobody ever gets to know who put what in and when. So, for you nervous types who don't want to be mobbed in the street by well-wishers because of your outrageous generosity, you can sleep soundly at night safe in the knowledge that only you know how much you put in!
By the way, I was asked what we'd do with any leftover cash? I think the Macmillan Nurse's Charity who look after the terminally ill are a prime candidate but I'm sure we're open to suggestions on that too. Maybe Eamonn himself should decide that one nearer the time and after the cut-off date, let's ask him. Maybe there'll be a few shillings left over for a party before he makes the trip of a lifetime!
Thanks again, I know we all think we can imagine what it must be like to be given the kind of news Eamonn has had over the last few weeks but imagining it and knowing it are never more conspicuous in their difference when we're talking about a subject as grave, as stark and as emotionally charged as this one. I know you'll do your best. xxx
To make an donation please visit www.shareagift.com/giftpageforeamonnmartin1