Chai’s ‘NAVIGATION’ Dinner raises £1.2m

Jack Morgan, Laura Moses.JPG

Incredible support enabled Chai Cancer Care, the Jewish Community’s only dedicated cancer support organisation to hit its target £1.2m at its annual Dinner last night (10th December). The event entitled ‘NAVIGATION’ was held for the fourth time at London’s Roundhouse and was attended by 700 guests, raising the much needed funds for Chai to provide its all-encompassing specialist support and care services to 3,486 people in the community affected by a cancer diagnosis.

Chai Chairman, Louise Hager spoke movingly about how Chai’s expert care and guidance enables our clients to navigate the unfamiliar and uncertain landscape they find themselves in following a cancer diagnosis. She said: “We all have plans for today, tomorrow, the future. And we set off towards our destination, often making the diversions and detours that life places on the road ahead. But tonight we’re here because cancer doesn’t just force a change in direction. It’s not a left-turn when you wanted to go right. A cancer diagnosis takes you off the road altogether. The road-signs disappear, and there you find yourself, in an unfamiliar place, with no signposts, no recognisable landmarks and no means of navigation at all. It’s a world our clients describe as ‘surreal’, a parallel universe, a place where simultaneously everything is the same and yet so completely different.

Understandably, relationships come under huge stress. So at the time when you need to focus on your illness, day-to-day life becomes overwhelming. But amongst all this upheaval and uncertainty there is a beacon of light - and that beacon is Chai. From the moment contact is made, Chai helps to hold it all together, emotionally, physically, practically.

At Chai we are helping our clients face their new life with all its changes and challenges. It is not one they expected or wanted, but they are discovering it is still a life with meaning and purpose. At Chai we give people the ability to navigate the strange, new world they find themselves in.”

Guests were then shown the appeal film featuring a highly emotive, moving and honest portrayal of what it’s like to be told “you’ve got cancer” from two of Chai’s courageous clients, Jack Morgan (21) and Laura Moses (29) and how Chai has been able to help them navigate their cancer diagnoses. Jack was diagnosed with undifferentiated carcinoma of the eye when he was just 20 years old and Laura was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and the BRCA gene at the age of 27. Both have made it their mission to raise awareness of cancer amongst young people.

Laura Moses said: “I think a cancer journey never ends in a way. I cannot imagine having gone through what I’ve gone through and what I’m about to face in my future without Chai.”

The film can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/305513704

Joanna Franks, Consultant Breast and Oncoplastic Surgeon at UCLH and the Wellington Hospital, introduced our animation film, ‘A Journey with Chai’ which can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/305724570

Later in the evening, guests were treated to the UK debut of J.U.K.E.B.O.X, which got the audience on their feet, capturing their hearts with their harmonic and humorous medleys.