Guernsey Press

Keep on jumping, but in the sea not in puddles

A CHARITY campaign inspired by islanders during lockdown, is set to make another splash in a bid to find a cure for cancer.

Leading the way in jumping in the sea are these medical staff, left to right, Dr Hamish Duncan, Hannah Tetlow, Ellen Bain, Carol Crowson, Dr Piers Mitchell, Tracy Paul, Dr Joanna Daish and Dr Marta Vila. (Picture by John de Garis)

Jumping In Puddles has raised more than £50,000 in less than six months by encouraging people to show themselves making the watery leaps on social media before making a donation and then nominating others to follow suit.

Susie Campanella began the campaign in January after hearing from her friend Gary Burgess that his cancer had returned.

But with fewer puddles in the summer, she is switching the focus to jumping into the water on the beaches, as she continues to pursue a £1m. fundraising target.

Notable local figures to have donned their wellies for the cause already include Chief Minister Peter Ferbrache, Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins and, of course, the ITV Channel TV journalist who inspired the whole thing.

Miss Campanella originally posted a pair of boots to Mr Burgess for his birthday, along with a poster she had seen which said: ‘When life gives you rain, go jump in a puddle’.

‘What do you buy somebody who’s just been given that news?’ she said.

‘Flowers don’t cut it. So I thought “What can make him smile?’’’

Susie Campanella, the founder of Jumping In Puddles for Cancer Research, with friend and ITV Channel islands reporter Gary Burgess, whose battle with the disease inspired her (29475680)

Soon, lots of people across the Channel Islands were jumping in puddles for the fun of it, but Miss Campanella came to realise that this could become a vehicle for significant fundraising towards a cure for cancer. So she contacted Cancer Research UK.

Maria Gomez-Baldwin works for the charity and took part in the original campaign with her son and daughter.

‘We are just so grateful to Susie for leading such a wonderful campaign,’ she said.

‘To have raised over £50,000 is simply fantastic and we are very excited about the next stage.’

She said the money raised so far could fund a clinical research bursary for two years, which could support doctors and nurses to carry out pioneering laboratory work to find new ways to beat cancer.

Mrs Gomez-Baldwin gave an example of what had been achieved through this kind of funded research, citing a new immunotherapy drug called nivolumab, which has increased survival rates of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, linked to asbestos fibres.

Mr Burgess said: ‘It feels very strange to be the inspiration for anything in this world, but it truly is an honour to have sparked something with Susie that is already achieving so much good.

‘To raise awareness of cancer and the continued need for research, to raise money to help achieve that, and to raise a smile along the way by having some fun doing it just makes me smile every time. Every penny, every pound makes a difference. And with tens of thousands of pounds already raised, the generosity of people in the Bailiwick and beyond is just extraordinary.’

If Miss Campanella succeeds in reaching her target, it will make the sum raised so far look like a drop in the ocean. She hoped that fundraising would continue, and even accelerate, even through a dry summer.

‘I am determined to raise that million and I won’t stop until we raise it,’ she said.

‘It’s not viral yet and we need to get it viral.’

n The big message is jump, donate and nominate, #jumpinforcancer. To find out more