Howzat!... for a way for council chairman to say thank you for support during cancer treatment
By James Young | 13th March 2019
Gloucestershire county council chairman Andrew Gravells, who has been battling lung cancer for four years, is organising a charity cricket match to say thanks for all his treatment.
The popular Abbeydale councillor has refused to let his illness affect his life and has continued all his public duties both on the county and city council.
Now he is organising a cricket match between County Councillors and Council staff on 9th May at the Tuffley Avenue pitch and the proceeds will go to the Oncology Centre where he has been treated at Cheltenham General Hospital.
The match will be 20/20 format and will start 6pm
The Captain of the Councillors side will be Sajid Patel, who represents Barton and Tredworth on the Council.
Mr Gravells said: "Nobody can remember precisely when the last match between staff and councillors took place - it was quite a few years ago.
"I chose the Oncology Centre as my Charity for my year as Chairman because they've helped thousands of people who have been treated for cancer, including me.
"This is one tangible way in which I can show them my gratitude for their skills, treatment and kindness and good humour.
"We're fortunate to have such a great Centre of Excellence here in Gloucestershire. I hope we can raise some funds to help them with the various projects they're working on, to further improve things there for patients."
He recalled being given the devastating news in 2015 that he was suffering from cancer of the lung.
"It was a huge shock being told back in 2015 that I needed surgery for lung cancer. The surgeons and the nurses at the Bristol Royal Infirmary were amazing, and managed to save part of my right lung," he said.
"That was then was followed up with months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the Cheltenham Oncology Centre.
"I've been fortunate to have had the best treatment going, both in Cheltenham and in Bristol.
"My best friends, and Goddaughter Martha - and my part time dog Poppy - have been stars. No tears, no dramas, no looking inwards all the time, just positive encouragement and lots of laughs.
"I'm lucky to have such remarkable friends. They're all part of the treatment ".
Cllr Gravells is also hoping to organise other fundraising events before the end of his year of office as council chairman.
In a message to fellow councillors, he said "If you're able to come up with any other ideas for a social event, which could be a way of getting to know each other a little better, outside of our political roles, please drop me a line.
"If the House of Commons can manage Pancake Day Races, Dog Shows, Tugs of War, there must be something we can try in order to raise a few pounds for the Oncology Centre and meet informally in a relaxed environment at the same time
Anyone wishing to support his Oncology Appeal can contact him on 01452 503974 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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