Help Margot's Daddy

£225,000 of £300,000 goal

Raised by 4,004 people in 5 months
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Created March 19, 2019
For Michael and Lauren, August 2018 delivered both the best and the worst life has to offer.

The day before Michael's wife Lauren went on maternity leave, Michael found out that he had Stage 4 Bowel Cancer.

Starting chemotherapy almost straight away, Michael then contracted a viral infection and was admitted  to hospital, just days before the birth of their first child, Margot. 

The night before he was due to be discharged, and desperate to be with Lauren at another hospital where she was to be induced the next morning, Michael was told that the results from his primary tumour biopsy indicated he had a rare and aggressive type of bowel cancer, BRAF mutated metastatic bowel cancer which is of poor prognosis and for which chemotherapy has limited benefit.

Michael was told his life expectancy was 12-19 months.


The background

Michael and Lauren spent the end of December 2017 in Melbourne, Australia, where they were visiting their best friends. Unbeknown to them both, Lauren had just conceived the baby that they’d been planning for. Baby Margot joined them in September later that year.

Michael and Lauren decided to visit many of their favourite places as well as some new ones before the baby arrived. 

They went on a Portuguese road trip. Then had wonderful family holidays in Holland and Mallorca. They discovered some beautiful beaches and towns on the east coast of Italy in June, before finally going to a best friend’s wedding in Umbria in August.


It was around this time that Michael started to notice pain in his abdomen and difficulty breathing, especially before bed and when lying down. After a number of scans and biopsies, Michael was finally diagnosed with Stage 4 Bowel Cancer, that had already metastasized to his liver. There were  no signs or symptoms of this until August 2018.

On his way back from the consultation on the afternoon of his diagnosis, Michael was heartbroken knowing he would have to tell a heavily pregnant Lauren this horrendous news, just as she was going on maternity leave.

It was even more heartbreaking because Lauren's Dad, who was desperate to meet his grand-daughter was terminally ill with prostate cancer and bed bound at home.

Michael’s Treatment

Michael and Lauren have been helped by a leading team of oncologists in London. Michael had been receiving the most toxic form of chemotherapy since September, but is now reaching the limit of what is viable for his body.

The next best treatment that Michael’s health insurance will cover will help stabilise his disease for only a few months, but after that there are no other options available for this type of cancer that are covered on insurance.

Certain trial drugs and treatments have been highly effective in preventing disease progression (and in some cases even producing a complete response) for patients with Michael’s type of cancer, but because these drugs are still on trial and not licensed, the insurance company won’t recognise or cover Michael for such treatment. So he and Lauren are having to look at self-funding in order to make sure that  Michael makes it to his daughters first birthday and beyond.

And that’s where you can help...

The money

This treatment is very new and is a positive step toward improving Michael’s quality and length of life.

There’s a problem, though…

It’s eye wateringly expensive… projected to be in excess of £400,000 for two years treatment, not including scans.

This is something Michael will have to have once a week for at least a year to see the benefits, and maybe even a small miracle can happen.

The future

Michael will be regularly scanned and monitored to check that the disease is under control and, hopefully, regressing.

Who is Michael?

Michael is a  kind, easy going and loving person. He loves his friends and family and their kids, for whom he would do anything. He has been looking forward to having his own family for years and found his perfect woman to do that with in Lauren, his best friend and favourite travelling buddy.

Friends affectionately know him as Monk, Migzy, Miguello, Mikhail, Monkerchev, M Squared or simply Mike (though don’t let his mum hear you call him that unless you’re his best mate Woody).


What is Team Monk?

Team Monk is a collaborative team of friends and family who have come to together, determined to help the future look brighter for Michael, Lauren and most importantly baby Margot, through fundraising and some fun activities. Margot just absolutely loves her Daddy. And he wants to see her grow up into the beautiful strong woman he knows she’ll be, just like her Mum.

Michael lives in Walthamstow, London with Lauren and Margot. He is currently on sick leave and takes Margot out for a walk almost every morning, to see if they can see a koala in the eucalyptus tree in the local park, as well as the easier to find ducks. He is determined to continue to be the best Dad, husband and friend to all his loved ones and has an unbelievably positive attitude against all the odds and a terrible situation. 

A huge and heartfelt thanks goes out to anybody who can help us raise funds, be it through donations, your own fundraising activities or just sharing our story.

Not only can this transform Michael's life, but of course the lives of Lauren and Margot and of all the loved ones around him.

Go Team Monk x

Follow Team Monk on Instagram - @team_monk_uk
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Hi all,
It is with enormous sorrow that I write this, our last update. Despite an incredible and overwhelming response to our campaign Michael passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Michael had started his new treatment which we found out very recently was working and had reduced the cancer in Michael’s body by 10%. However, the day after we received the news Michael suffered complications cause by his primary tumour becoming inflamed and blocking his bowel. He had to have emergency bowel surgery to save his life.

During the 4 weeks that he spent in hospital recovering from major surgery Michael was unable to continue with treatment and during that time the cancer in his liver grew aggressively. On Friday 12th we were given the heartbreaking news that there was nothing else they could do.

Michael was moved to a hospice and spent the last week there surrounded by family and close friends.

We are devastated that Michael did not make it to Margot’s first birthday. It is beyond comprehension that the role he was made for, fatherhood, was cut so brutally short. However the support and help of so many during this time was genuinely uplifting and gave us more precious time together.
Thank you all. You are all amazing, wonderful people.
Lots of love from us all xxx
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2 months ago today we launched TeamMonk with the aim of raising funds to cover one year’s worth of potentially life-extending treatment for a rare form of bowel cancer that had also spread to my liver. I know most of you know how the story goes.

Well we’ve been completely blown away with all the love and support received from friends, family and strangers alike. We honestly never thought we’d get so close to our initial goal so quickly and,as I type, we have less than £3k to go . Just incredible.

We still have a number of fundraising activities coming up and in the pipeline so we intend to continue to fundraise for TeamMonk beyond the initial target. This way we can cover treatment into year 2 and various unforeseen costs (scans/tests).

We hope you’ll continue to support us and share our story. We are surrounded by so much positivity, warmth and love and it means everything to our little family.

Much love and positive energy transmitting all your ways,

Michael, Lauren and Margot xxx
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Just a quick update from Team Monk.

Earlier this month, my latest scans showed that my cancer had built a resistance to the chemotherapy treatment I had been having since September. So basically, chemo has stopped working for me.

The good news is all the support we’ve had via TeamMonk fundraising to date means we have enough money to at least start the new treatment which I began last week.

If we hadn’t had all your generous support our options would be extremely limited and bleak. So thank you everyone who has supported us and continues to with various fundraising activities. The current situation isn’t ideal but we’re in a better place because of all of you.

My new treatment currently consists of an iv in clinic once a week and then I have a number of oral tablet to take each day. I should get a good idea of how effective the treatment is in the next 2-3 months.

In the meantime if you can please continue to help us tell our story and to raise awareness of bowel cancer, please use this link:

Much love, light and positive energy transmitting all your ways, love Michael, Lauren and Margot xxx
#margotsdaddy #teammmonk

You can follow Team Monk on Instagram @team_monk_uk
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14 April Brighton Marathon
Tobes @herbs182 is running for Team Monk.
Huge thanks to Tobes and all his supporters and good luck.

26 April, Crisp Bar
If you missed out on tickets to the comedy gala and you love crisps, there’s still some tickets left for 'Crisp Bar’ which has been organised by our friends Emily and Steve. We think Crisp Bar is a UK first, potentially world first. On the night there will be drinks and over 50 varieties of crisps to savour, while stocks last. Plus some great tunes. Swing by and say hi after work if you’re in London!
Find out more here:
Huge thanks Emily and Steve.

Bake Sales
A number of bake sales are taking place at the end of April. Friends work places and local community groups are getting involved. If you want to take part let us know and please remember to use hashtags #margotsdaddy #teammonk and tag our Instagram account @team_monk_uk if sharing on social media. We’ll share all your stories and cake pics.
Huge thanks bakers and cake lovers.

Need a seriously good haircut? Our hairdresser JP will be donating takings from a whole day of haircuts at Taylor & Taylor @taylor_taylor_london by Spitalfields Market on 137 Commercial Street, London.
Official date coming soon, keep an eye out for updates on Instagram @team_monk_uk for more information.
Huge thanks JP.

Rich, Paddy and friends are taking on the 4 highest peaks in England for Team Monk. 44 miles walk in between. 24 hours time limit.
Huge thanks Rich, Paddy and friends, and their supporters.

19 May Hackney Half Marathon
A huge number of friends are gearing up for the Half Marathon for Team Monk.
Huge thanks to all the runners and their supporters.

26 May Liverpool Rock’n’Roll Marathon
Ben is running the marathon for Team Monk.
Huge thanks to Ben and his supporters.

27 May Vitality London 10k
Colleagues and friends of Michael’s from FSCS will be running the 10k for Team Monk.
Huge thanks Lila and co.

Plenty more fundraising and events coming soon...


Last week...

The Comedy Charity Gala on 23rd April organised by Stevie Martin to raise money for Team Monk sold out in just a day. The event includes features Dara O’Briain, Nish Kumar, Tessa Coates, Adam Riches and Stevie herself. Hope you managed to get tickets!
Huge thanks to Stevie for organising, as well as the amazing acts and people who bought tickets to support us.

Last Saturday family friends Olga and Vince held a coffee morning raising over £500, with parents and pupils from Michael’s First and Middle School’s.
Huge thanks Olga and Vince and everyone who joined them for the morning.

Yesterday Amy and her wonderful baking and cake loving colleagues raised over £600 at the Ogilvy bake sale for Team Monk.
Huge thanks Amy and Ogilvy.

Last Sunday Bláthnaid ran the Manchester Marathon for Team Monk.
Huge thanks Bláthnaid and her supporters.

Vicky and Charlotte swam for a reasonable and safe time (given how freezing it is) in the Irish Sea for Team Monk.
Huge thanks Vicky and Charlotte.

Dan Cummings of the Timesuck podcast drew in support for Team Monk from his listeners when he talked about our campaign in his recent episode ‘Prolific Serial Killer’.
Huge thanks to Dan and his listeners.


Other stuff...

If you want to read Lauren's recent article in Grazia here it is

On Monday 15, Michael will talk to Sarah-Jane Mee on Sky Sunrise about Bowel Cancer and Team Monk.
Tune in from 8:30 for those interested.


As always, a huge thanks to everyone who has been supporting us. We are still overwhelmed by the love, support and generosity shown by all of you. We can't thank you enough.

Have a great weekend all.

Much love and positive energy being sent your way,
Michael, Lauren and Margot xxx
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£225,000 of £300,000 goal

Raised by 4,004 people in 5 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created March 19, 2019
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