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Meet the fundraiser: Shiona Ramage

Guest Blogger | 15 December 2022 | Blogs

Team Shomelanoma on top of the world
Team Shomelanoma climbing the tallest mountain in North Africa, Mount Toubkal.

Shiona Ramage is currently being treated at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust for stage 4 skin cancer. She was referred to the hospital following her diagnosis of melanoma when she was 45 years old in June 2016.

Since then, Shiona has been giving back to the hospital by completing a number of fundraising challenges in support of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, which exists solely to support cancer centre The Royal Marsden.

‘Team Shomelanoma’ recently hit the fundraising milestone of over £83,000, which is supporting melanoma research. This success means Shiona has extended her fundraising target to £100,000.

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Fundraiser Shiona Ramage outside The Royal Marsden
Shiona Ramage

“It’s safe to say that the care I receive at The Royal Marsden is outstanding and is keeping me alive,” says Shiona.

“Channelling my energy into fundraising to support ongoing research projects is my way of saying thank you – giving something back while keeping fit and active doing the challenges I love. I’m so grateful to my family and friends that have undertaken and supported all of these fundraising activities.

“With ongoing research and clinical trials, the outlook for melanoma patients is much brighter, but
more still needs to be done to better understand the disease and how to treat it effectively. The
team at The Royal Marsden are right at the forefront of cancer research.”

Above and beyond

Shiona’s fundraising activities in the last few years have included the Welsh 3000s Challenge (climbing all 15 mountain peaks over 3,000 feet in Wales within 24 hours), a 12-hour danceathon, swimming Loch
Lomond, hiking 100km on the Jurassic Coast, running the Royal Parks Half Marathon, a comedy
evening and a skipathon that involved skipping 10 minutes every day of the month of May.

In September this year, Shiona and 13 friends also climbed the tallest mountain in North Africa,
Mount Toubkal, in support of their research fund.

“The COVID-19 pandemic meant we had to cancel a number of planned challenges and it really
underscored the need to support charities more than ever,” says Shiona.

“The highlight of all the challenges has been spending time creating special memories with my
incredible family and friends, who have joined me on the amazing adventures which have raised so
much money for melanoma research at The Royal Marsden.

“I particularly loved the danceathon and the skipathon, which were lots of fun whilst the Welsh
3000’s and Mount Toubkal were exceptionally tough and stretched us both physically and mentally.
The challenges have also given me a huge focus and sense of purpose whilst I have been going
through cancer treatment.”

Lessons learnt

“My advice to anyone who wants successfully fundraise for their cause is to share your personal
story on why the charity is so important and engage your family, friends and colleagues to support
you in the fundraising,” says Shiona.

“By doing a variety of challenges and being creative you can involve a lot of people at all ages at
different levels. For example, for the danceathon, we had a special children’s hour for friends with
young children and this was exceptionally popular.

“In addition, for the skipathon, one of my friends who is a headmistress had her school take part
and all of the pupils were skipping for a month and were hugely engaged. I also talked to them
about The Royal Marsden and the fundraising activities at their school assembly.

“It’s important to share how the funds raised are being used by the charity with your supporters. I
communicate regular updates on the melanoma research projects that the ‘Team Shomelanoma’
fundraising is supporting via my blog and social media channels, and this helps to keep supporters
fully informed. We hope to reach the £100,000 fundraising target in 2023.”

You can find Shiona’s JustGiving page and learn more from her blog.

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