Chai raises £1.2 million - and awareness


The development of the community's cancer support organisation Chai over the past 25 years was highlighted at a dinner at the Roundhouse in Camden which raised £1.2 million.

Chai has evolved from a telephone helpline to an 11-centre service across the UK helping more than 2,370 cancer patients, families and friends.

Examples of Chai's support were shown to the 800 guests in an emotional appeal video. One of the subjects was Elliot Choueka, whose wife Rosie died in June, less than a year after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Mrs Choueka went to Chai for counselling, as did her husband and young daughter. Mr Choueka said Chai had helped Rosie to live each day and "not be cursed by this awful disease".

His family continues to use Chai services and now his four-year-old son goes to play therapy. "From my own experience, you are being lifted, supported, out of a dark situation," Mr Choueka added.

Also featured was Tara Knopf, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.

Having been given the "all clear" after treatment, she discovered in 2013 that the cancer had returned. Mrs Knopf's extended family use the charity's services and she said that "with the help of Chai, I am determined to stay positive".

The evening included a performance by Britain's Got Talent finalists Jack Pack.

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