A bittersweet golf day

By Sheli Levenson, October 3, 2008

The Jewish Association for the Mentally Ill's annual golf day at Potters Bar was a bittersweet occasion because of the absence of a key figure - a young cancer sufferer who set up the event's partner charity.

This year's golf day was held in conjunction with the Royal Marsden Hospital cancer research programme and No Surrender, supporting young adults with cancer. No Surrender was founded by 34-year-old accountant Jason Boas, who was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer last year.

After taking part in a clinical drugs trial to shrink the tumour at the Royal Marsden, he underwent surgery. During the treatment process, Mr Boas realised that interaction with other cancer patients helped him maintain a positive mental attitude. No Surrender's website is a support network through which patients can share experiences.

According to Mr Boas's latest blog post on YouTube, he is currently receiving treatment in Israel. "We had postponed the golf day in the hope that he would be making progress," explained Jami executive director Laurie Rackind. "But unfortunately he was unable to join us."

Mr Rackind added that Mr Boas's father Barry is a long-time supporter of the golf day. "When we heard about Jason's condition, we wanted to do whatever we could to help. What Jason himself emphasises is the need for what he calls a ‘positive mental attitude'. Although strictly speaking that isn't to do with mental illness, it's still very important for well-being." Despite there being "no commonality" between the two charities' causes, it was important for Jami to show support for the Boas family.

With donations, sponsorship, auctions and a raffle, the event raised £18,000.

Last updated: 4:25pm, October 2 2008