Second Hope is one of the only charities exclusively supporting those with Advanced Breast Cancer, and funding research into the condition. The charity is run purely by volunteers which means that all donations received go to fulfil our charitable aims and objectives, not to pay salaries or expensive overheads.
These words were read at the funeral of our founder, Julie Phillips, and tell the story of how Second Hope came to exist:
‘David has asked me to tell you a little about the wonderful legacy that Julie has left for everyone living with or affected by advanced breast cancer. That legacy, as I am sure you will know, is a new charity – Second Hope – and I have the honour and privilege together with the other trustees of taking that charity forward.
I don’t have to tell you what a kind, caring person Julie was. I got to know her because we both belonged to an online support group for ladies with advanced breast cancer, where she was always ready with a comforting word or a helpful piece of advice. Julie was extremely knowledgeable about the disease, what treatments were available and where to find the best care – and she shared that knowledge generously – often behind the scenes. She did this because she genuinely cared about us all.
Second Hope grew from that concern. She realised just how hard it is to access the information that is out there when you are feeling scared and vulnerable – how hard it is to know what financial help you might be entitled to let alone how to apply for it – and how easy it is to feel isolated and that no-one really understands. She was also saddened to see the lack of understanding amongst the public – as well as the tiny proportion of all breast cancer research funding that goes into advanced breast cancer – understanding why and how it spreads and how to tackle the disease once it reaches stage IV, when it is incurable.
Julie was one of those rare people who acted on her concerns, concerns that most of us would consider far too big for one individual. She conceived the idea of a charity dedicated solely to dealing with the issues that she cared so much about – the charity we now know as Second Hope.
To say Julie worked hard to get Second Hope off the ground is an understatement. By the time I met her in person only 6 months ago, she was already in the process of persuading our eminent medical trustees to come on board, she was using her contacts to work on a name and design – with amazing results as I am sure you will agree – and her vision and drive were evident for all to see. It was just as well, because I don’t think even Julie really knew just how much work the next few months would entail.
Registration with the Charities Commission was a convoluted process, making us think hard about policies we would willingly have left for another time. The website, which was written from scratch, was an enormous undertaking which Julie masterminded.
She was responsible for approaching Steven Isserlis who agreed to be our first patron, for persuading all our corporate sponsors to give so generously of their time, expertise and cash, to ensuring that David had the financial side under control, to commissioning our wonderful Christmas cards – the list goes on and on.
And all this time she kept quiet about how ill she was, not wanting to detract attention from Second Hope, whilst still continuing to care for those who needed a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on. Julie, how can we ever thank you enough?
You have left Second Hope in our hands and we will do our best to fulfil your vision.’
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Second Hope is run purely by volunteers, meaning that all donations received go to fulfil our charitable aims and objectives, not to pay salaries or expensive overheads