Wanted – A Magician

March has been a record breaking month, and for once the miles have been able to take a back seat. Step forward my wonderful supporters and take a big round of applause, for in March, not only did we raise more than any other month to date, we did it by breaking through the £200 barrier for the first time. With a few days of the month still to go, sponsorship is sitting at a wonderful £201 and could yet go higher..

But if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I never settle for the status quo: I always want more. Lots more. When I set out, I had the idea that I might be able to raise a hundred grand. But then the money didn’t roll in. So I figured that I must be doing something wrong. My idea that the LifeCycle story would get shared and re-tweeted, bringing in pennies by the sackful, never quite materialised. The odd retweet did happen, and some of my best supporters have been sharing the story, but in the main the big bucks I’d been hoping for have not materialised.

So I’m going on the offensive. I’m looking to recruit a magician.

This magician needs to be able to perform one trick, and perform it well. Very well. The better the trick, the bigger the reward. The trick is dead simple: the person I’m looking for needs to be able to turn water into wine, or to be more precise, to turn two hundred pounds a month into two thousand. Yes, you did read that right: I want to start raising two thousand pounds a month to help fight Neuroblastoma. But first, let’s remind ourselves why we’re here:

The NCCA UK helps families affected by the childhood cancer Neuroblastoma. I hope to raise money to help them ensure greater access to treatment, further research and better education and awareness. In most cases Neuroblastoma is only diagnosed when it has already progressed to a late ‘high risk’ stage.  Even when children are tested clear of Neuroblastoma after initial hospital treatment, a high percentage of children with high risk Neuroblastoma will relapse and some children will not respond to therapy. This is a very serious illness.

When I started LifeCycle, I was optimistic that I could give it a real go, but faced with a Scottish winter, I soon discovered that 25,000 miles is an awful long way. So I faced a strange dilemma: on one hand, I was tip-toeing into the unknown, and if it all went pear shaped while the donations were low, I guessed it wouldn’t really matter that much: at least I’d tried. But I was secretly (and occasionally publicly, as Angela will testify) very disappointed that the project wasn’t returning more hard cash. In my work, we have a way of handling big projects: first up, we create a pilot project to prove the concept, then if that goes okay, based on lessons learned, we take the big project, the original idea, out of the box, and go for it.

Well that’s pretty much how I view LifeCycle. I’ve proved to myself, through a wild Scottish winter, that I don’t have the Giving Up gene. I wasn’t born with it. And I think I’ve proved to a lot of people out there that I’m here for the long game, and I’m slowly but surely gathering support.

So now it’s time to pump up the volume, turn on the gas, and go professional…

I’m looking for an agent, a PR Marketing guru who can take this project to a level that I never thought possible. James Forrest used the wonderful phrase “Dave King found himself sitting on top of the Ibrox volcano” in the latest episode of On Fields Of Green. Well I know that I am sitting on top of one of the biggest fundraising gigs this side of Live Aid, if it’s managed properly The potential is enormous…

Consider the following:

LifeCycle is 954 marathons back to back, running five days out of every seven, except every working day is 1.5 marathons not one.

Every day has 1600ft of climbing in it.

Every day I burn 2000 calories on the bike.

Every day I’m out of the house for 13 hours.

I have a full time job.

I’m a little old man (my mother’s words, not mine).

Occasionally, I get to sleep.

So who might be interested in this madcap adventure?

Well, how about Tesco, Asda, O2, Vodafone, Halfords, Tiso, Blacks, Red Bull, Seal Skinz and Goretex to name but a few. Why can’t we sell advertising space on my bike shirts? Why can’t we sell advertising on my winter jackets? Why can’t we sell advertising space on the bike? I spend the best part of five miles each way, each day, in commuter traffic, so the opportunity is there to sell the LifeCycle concept to a captive audience sitting at traffic lights. For companies that want to come onboard, LifeCycle is a feelgood project. It’s a children’s project. It’s a sick children’s project.

How much good PR could a company generate by announcing on their website that they are proud sponsors of LIfeCycleForNeuroblastoma?

Look, we’ve completed the pilot. On the 29th April, I will crash through the 5,000 mile barrier and this project will be 20% done. It’s time to step up a gear, up our game and take this message out there. If Gary Lineker can raise £51m on a Friday night, and still blank my tweets, then we can raise 51 grand (a year) and, as the Eagles would say “Take It To The Limit”.

So here’s the deal. At the current rate of progress, I’ll be at 25,000 miles in the autumn of 2016: a full 18 months before my retirement date. If LifeCycle has raised a hundred grand before I hit 25K, then I pledge to carry on until March 2018. But I need help, specialised help. After I’ve spent 3 hours a day on the bike, I have nothing left in the tank to do the marketing.

Now someone out there has the skills, the knowledge, the nous and the drive to turn water into wine. That special person has the know how to open corporate doors and bag some major sponsorship deals for LifeCycle. I want to meet that person, and I want to do it soon. Actually I want to do it now. If you’re reading this and it’s you, then please email me at lifecycleforneuroblastoma@gmail.com. If you’re reading this and it’s not you, then please share and retweet this story to infinity until someone steps forward and says “it could be me”.

We’re 28 weeks into this thing and there are 4,260 miles on the clock. The pilot is done: long live the pilot. Now for the king.

But first I need a magician who can turn water into wine. It could be you.

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