The reason we Wear Grey
10 years ago, an amazing man named Shaun approached us with an idea: on the 1st of October he wanted to turn the world grey in support of people living with brain tumours.
Shaun had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour in 2007 and was a passionate advocate for the brain tumour community. He was inspired by ‘Go Gray for a Day’ in the US – it made sense to join the two events up, and with the US event in October, so Wear Grey was born.
Shaun sadly died in 2017 from his brain tumour and his humour, tenacity, and passion for advocating for the brain tumour community is deeply missed by so many. Shaun touched so many people with his work, and Wear Grey is an important part of his incredible legacy. In memory of Shaun, and of everyone whose life has been lost to or affected by a brain tumour, we continue to mark Wear Grey every year.
Shaun in the words of his family
We spoke to Bev, Shaun’s sister, who recently hosted a coffee and cake fundraiser in Shaun’s memory, and reflects on Shaun’s
legacy both through Wear Grey and beyond. Her words sum up the amazing influence Shaun’s approach to life continues to have:
“Shaun Skinner, my brother, was diagnosed with a brain tumour 15 years ago, I got the phone call from him to tell me when my youngest daughter was just 1 day old, I remember it vividly. Anyway, he was passionate about getting awareness for brain tumours out there & got involved with brainstrust, he did various things with people from brainstrust but he came up with the idea of starting ‘Wear Grey day’ over here, so on 1st October, 10 years ago, the first UK Wear grey day, was started. I am so proud of Shaun for doing that, I think people still needs to be made more aware of brain tumours as it’s still not as well know as some of the others & if it wasn’t for Shaun being involved then I wouldn’t know about Wear Grey day on 1st October.
Let me get back to what I should be saying. Shaun sadly passed away 5 years ago back in January, I have felt since then that I should be doing more to raise awareness of brain tumours & to raise money for the charity, I have in the past done a skydive to raise a little bit of money but on 21st May this year, Shaun would of been 50, so I couldn’t let that day go by without doing something to remember him, celebrate him & raise some money for brainstrust. Shaun liked his food and I would go out with him for coffee and he would enjoy a cake with it, so my idea was formed, no better way to celebrate his birthday that with an open house for people to come for coffee and cake. I planned it, invited people, made cakes and then the day arrived, it was a beautiful sunny Saturday, I had no idea how many people would come or how much money would be raised. Well what an afternoon, I must of had about 70 people in my garden, drinking and eating cake, something I know Shaun would have loved, it was amazing to see. At the end of it all when everything was tidied away, the money was added up and I was blown away, I couldn’t believe how generous people had been, people who had known Shaun and people who hadn’t, £776.35 was the grand total, all from people coming together, sitting in the sun, having a drink and eating cake. I hope it has been useful to the brainstrust charity. I want to thank all who supported. Still blown away now when I think about it.
The next thing will be 1st October, Wear Grey day, it’s easy to do, so come on everyone, let’s get awareness for brain tumours, it’s sufferers like my brother, families & friends of those living with a brain tumour out there & raise some well needed money for the brainstrust charity. Shaun I hope I did okay.”
Thank you to Bev for raising money for brainstrust in memory of Shaun, and for sharing her wonderful reflections on Shaun’s life and legacy.
To find out how you can get involved with Wear Grey, click here
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