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Gromit needs a helping hand


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Nearly all of you know Stuart Wallace, perhaps under his nickname of Gromit. Many of you also know Gill, his wife, and their sons Tom and Samuel. Stuart has not been silent recently about Tom’s ongoing battle with cancer. He has now had four courses of chemotherapy, and a decision is to be made today (15th October) about a possible fifth.

There is little that any of us can do about the difficulties that the Wallace family face, except in one respect. At the moment Tom is in hospital in London, and the family home is in Crondall in Hampshire. An adult return train ticket costs £24, so that if one of Gill or Stuart go to be with Tom on a daily basis, they face additional costs around £200 per week. Tom has been receiving treatment for well over a year (not all of it in London), and the additional burden on the household budget has now become critical.

Because of this, we are organising a whip-round of the GBSRA and the Whitesheet Club, with the intention of helping out the Wallaces in their time of need. To this end, the GBSRA has set up a dedicated bank account to which you can make donations directly. The charges levied by Paypal will be covered by a kind GBSRA member, so that everything you give will be passed on to the Wallaces.

We would ask you all to be as generous as you possibly can be, to help out the family of a man who has done much to further the cause of RC soaring on both a local and a national level.

To make a donation, please go to http://www.gbsra.co.uk/gromit-appeal and follow the instructions. 

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Replying to John’s above post has been emotionally unbelievably difficult, I have tried many times over the past two days to put my thoughts & feelings into words, I have failed many times. I honestly don’t know what to say, both Gill & I are completely overwhelmed. I don’t know how many forum members are involved in the organising of this kindness, but I believe it to be quite a few. We truly have an amazing caring community here on the BARCS.

 During this year as word has spread both on the slopes, & on the forum, that my Son Tom was seriously ill, I have received many forum pm’s with get well wishes for him. These Pm’s have come from pilots & friends whom I meet on the slopes when at comps & when sports flying, others I have received from members I see very infrequently or have never met. All of these have been so very supportive & most kind, thankyou so much for these.

There are a couple of factual errors in Johns post, Gill & I have three sons, these are Ben,Tom & Sam. Tom became seriously ill in January of this year.

Here is some info about our Tom. Tom is our second oldest at 26 yrs old, he first became ill towards the end of January of this year. At first Tom had what appeared to be  just a  very bad cold, this however lasted longer than was usual. After a few weeks Tom was very unwell  & went to see his GP. Within the follwing 24 hrs Tom had been admitted into hospital and was seriously unwell.  Tom has been seriously ill in hospital, in either Isolation, intensive care, or a high dependancy unit for a full 23 weeks since first being admitted

During this time, Tom’s health problems have grown & grown, he’s suffered set back after set back. In addition Tom has contracted countless serious infections, including pneumonia. Tom has also had emergency life saving major surgery following major internal bleeding. It was at this time that I posted the thread ton the forum thanking all BARCS forum members and /or members of their families who donate blood. see here ;- https://www.barcs.co.uk/forums/topic/5288-a-huge-thankyou-to-all-flyers-or-family-members-who-donate-blood/ It is without question that Tom would not have survived without such donations. During the past 8 months Tom has received many gallons of blood via blood transfusions, plus other blood products, ie, platelets.

Since March Tom has received 4 very unpleasant programmes of chemotherapy, the most recent of these he completed 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately ten days ago we received the very bad news that once again the chemotherapy has failed,  Tom's cancer continues to spread.

 In Johns post, he mentions that on Thursday we were to travel back up to London to see the consultants / Doctors / specialists, this we indeed did. This meeting brought us some extremely difficult and bad news for my family. This news is the reason why I have been unable to sit down to concentrate & compose this reply to Johns post until now, its proven to be far too difficult.

     Thanking you all so very much for your kindness, thoughtfulness & support for my family.

           Kindest regards to you all,

                        Stuart , Gill & family

Edited by Gromit
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Hi Stu,

one problem with forums is that one read the posts and does not have anything smart enough to be written.

I think there are several, the counter tells, and I am one, so I write this couple of lines just to chime in.

You and your family are often in my thoughts.

Best wishes,


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Off to give my Baldrick quality blood to the NHS.

Thank you to Mr Treble for starting the post.

Stuart we recently met. You are a Rock. As ever you were great company and the same Stuart I have know since I first met you. Your strength is an inspiration.

I know many of the flyers who have twiddle sticks with you over the years will using to power of positive thought for you.

Good Luck






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Stu, I have only just seen this and both Hilary, I and Slopedawg are sad to hear how Tom is fairing and the stress this is on all your family.  We wish you all and Tom especially some good luck and hope to see you on the slopes again.

Best wishes Jerry n Hilary

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Many thanks to all of you who have responded to this appeal so far. Your generosity will be much appreciated by Stuart and his family.

Tom Wallace's condition has not improved since the appeal was launched. There is some hope still of a future for him, but it is very slim. He remains in hospital, and his parents and brothers are, of course, spending as much time with him as possible. 

We are planning to wind the appeal up on Friday this week (30th October) so if you haven't got round to making your contribution, or if this message is the first you've read in this thread, please go to http://www.gbsra.co.uk/gromit-appeal, where you can read all about it, and make a donation.


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Gill & I wish to give our sincerest thanks to all that have contributed to this appeal to help our family. Your contributions are going to make a huge difference to our ability to visit, comfort and support Tom in hospital.

Today is a very important day for us, and is our 'glimmer of hope day' for Tom. Tom & I are travelling back up to University College Hospital London (UCLH) for a meeting, and for Tom to undergo tests & scans to see if he's a suitable candidate to go on the trial of a brand new cancer drug that is being developed. If found suitable Tom would be only the 3rd patient in the uk to go on the trial. The doctors have absolutely no idea if the trial will be of any benefit or help to Tom in anyway, in addition the likely side effects he'll experience are very unpleasant.

With no other options open to us were praying that today is successful.

This meeting was supposed to take place last Thursday, however Tom was far too ill to travel.

  Thanking you all for your kindness, generosity & support,

    Stu, Gill, Ben, Tom & Sam.





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Stu we are all thinking of you and the family.

Fingers and toes crossed that Tom will be suitable for this new treatment/Drug.

Hope all goes well today mate.

Good look

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Hi Stuart

I'm sure Les has put into words exactly how all of us feel

Very best of luck to Tom, stay positive mate




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On 29/10/2015, 08:00:31, Les said:

Fingers and toes crossed that Tom will be suitable for this new treatment/Drug.

Just make sure you're not flying first!

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Thankyou all for yesterdays good luck messages, wishes, thoughts & prayers for Tom, all my family are very touched by these, thankyou so much.

The news from our meeting at the Macmillan cancer centre at UCLH in London yesterday isn't good. After studying Tom's most recent scans & test results, the doctors running the new cancer drug trial have told us that in the period between our last meeting with them 2 weeks ago & yesterday,Tom has become too seriously unwell to be put onto the new trial. A known serious side effect of the drug is that all patients would become diabetic, Tom is not well enough to have diabetes added to his illnesses. Additionally, Tom would need to travel up to London several times a week, Tom is not well enough to do this. We are of course all devastated by this news.

A flicker of hope may however still be open for Tom, the trial of a second new cancer drug 'might' possibly begin at the end of November. Tom's health however needs to significantly improve for Tom to be considered for it. In an effort to achieve this Tom is now to begin a fifth programme of Chemo asap to try and achieve this. An important meeting on Monday will bring us more details of this.

If Tom is successful in getting well enough to be considered for this second 'might happen' new drug trial, we would have to travel back & forth to the Macmillan cancer centre in London 2-3 times a week for many weeks, the frequency of visits will then gradually decrease depending on results. Your so very kind donations will enable us to financially make these essential  journeys, without them this would not be possible.

 All my family are so very touched & moved by your kindness and generosity, Our sincerest thanks again to all of you that have contributed to this fund to help Tom and our whole family, our level of gratitude and thanks to you all are beyond words.

  Stu, Gill, Ben, Tom & Sam.




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When there's nothing to say, it's best to say nothing.

We are now closing this appeal and the amount collected will be transferred to Stuart's bank account in the next few days. I don't know exactly what the total is, but I do know that it is well in excess of £1000.

Thanks to all who have donated.

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Well, the 'Gromit appeal' has now been wound up. Your donations reached the totally amazing total of £1725.50, so well done you!

The money has been transferred to Gromit, and will enable the family to visit Tom in hospital. He is embarking on new treatments which could well keep him in London for quite a few weeks, so this help has turned out to be particularly timely.  

I must say that when I launched this appeal I expected to raise £500 or £600, but I seem to have underestimated the generosity of the slope soaring community, who have turned out their pockets handsomely.

Thanks to you all, and especially to Peter Gunning, Chris Lamming, Martin Newnham, and Mark Treble who have helped with the practical side of things.

Safe landings.


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