A children’s author from Ramsgate is donating money from the sale of his first published book to help find a cure for brain tumours.
Martyn Harvey, 56, who started writing after the loss of his partner, is releasing ‘The Boy with the Saucepan Hat’ with a percentage of sales going towards the charity Brain Tumour Research. The story, aimed at children aged six and above, explores the humorous tale of a 10-year-old who gets a saucepan stuck on his head, while dreaming of fighting a dragon.
Martyn was inspired to fundraise for Brain Tumour Research following his aunt’s diagnosis with the disease. Doctors believe that her inoperable, low-grade tumour had been growing for more than 20 years before it was detected.
He said: “I’m really excited to release my debut book, having written but not published dozens of children’s stories over the years. It’s amazing to finally see one of my tales come to life. Having seen an advert for the charity Brain Tumour Research’s Wear A Hat Day, I decided to donate a percentage of sales to the charity. It’s a cause close to my heart.”
Alongside the release of his book, Martyn will be running the Liverpool Half Marathon for Brain Tumour Research, donning a saucepan on his head. He hopes to raise £1,000 by completing the challenge on Sunday, March 15.
He added: “As a keen runner, having completed a couple of marathons in the past, I thought I’d challenge myself to run with a saucepan on my head. It will be a fantastic and fun way to raise vital funds.”
The Boy in the Saucepan Hat is one of many stories penned by Martyn, who found writing a means to cope with the loss of his partner 17 years ago.
Martyn said: “I started writing following the sudden death of my partner Sandy to septicaemia, in 2003. My eldest daughter was four and my youngest nine months old, so it was a desperately difficult time. Seemingly overnight, I went from being a hardworking businessman to a stay-at-home dad.
“The girls’ bedtime routine, which involved me making up stories to help them sleep, became a precious time. We bonded through the tales I had written; it gave us something to look forward to and a sense of normality.
“Since losing my partner, I’ve realised how hard and all-consuming grief is. Fundraising has given me a great purpose, by helping others who may be going through similar difficult times.”
Martyn, who has decided to become a full-time author, having worked as a computer programmer, web developer and entrepreneur, is sharing his story to mark the launch of Brain Tumour Awareness Month in March. The month culminates in Wear A Hat Day on Friday, March 27. Now in its 11th year, Wear A Hat Day has raised more than £1.25 million to help fund the fight against the disease.
Charlie Allsebrook, community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research in the South East, said: “We’re delighted that Martyn has decided to support Brain Tumour Research through the release of his book and by taking part in the Liverpool Half Marathon. We encourage people to purchase ‘The Boy in the Saucepan Hat’ – a unique tale for children to read, while helping to find a cure for brain tumours.
“Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers. What’s more, historically less than 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. We cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.”
“We hope that those touched by Martyn’s story are inspired to fundraise for Brain Tumour Research.”
To buy ‘The Boy in the Saucepan Hat’ go to www.thesaucepanhat.co.uk/
To donate to Martyn’s fundraising page go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/martynharveythepoet