HUNTON PARK HOUSE PARTY - SATURDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2006


We held a fund raising evening for Pete at Hunton Park, Abbotts Langley, Herts.

The evening included an auction, a raffle, buffet, dancing and much more! We raised nearly £10,000 on the night and the money is still coming in.

Julia's sister Paula made a very moving speech that evening. The text of it is given below:

When Pete and Ju asked me to speak tonight I must admit I was scared, but as the weeks have passed it has got worse and worse and now I am petrified! Please bear with me.

I have known Pete for 25 years and even though we didn't attend the same school somehow Pete always thought he did and ended up in our classes!

A tragic event in our teens brought Pete and me closer together as friends. In fact, we saw Pete as a member of our family even before he got together with my sister Julia.

When Pete and Ju finally noticed each other and started going out we were all delighted. You only have to look at them now with their three gorgeous boys to realise that they are the perfect family!

When I first found out about Pete's AVM I was stunned and I do have to admit I didn't really understand what it meant. I spent hours looking it up on the internet and when I finally realised the severity I was heartbroken.

Not satisfied with the advice given to Pete, Ju wanted a second opinion and was referred to another surgeon. It was during this time that I had been speaking to a friend of mine and had been telling her about Pete. She told me that she worked at a hospital in Bristol called the Frenchay and that they had some of the best brain surgeons there. In fact they had made a documentary for the TV there called 'The Brain Doctors'. She very kindly taped the programme for me and I sent it straight to Pete and Ju. They watched it, but I think that from the first viewing Pete had already made his mind up that this is where he wanted to be seen, and so he was referred.

From the very first meeting with Mr Porter, who is the surgeon that will be performing the operation, Pete was so confident in him that we all knew this was the way to go.

No-one can imagine how shocked and disappointed we were when the funding was turned down - the whole series of events was a sham! Pete went into a little shell of his own and Ju was falling apart. I cannot even begin to imagine what the three boys were going through.

I was 120 miles away and in poor health myself. I couldn't even drive up and give them all a cuddle which is something I had always done before. I felt totally useless.

After a little thought and a lot of help from my friends I started the fundraising - I needed to be doing something positive.

Within a couple of days the donations were pouring in. Pete and Ju were overwhelmed and after a little more help from a few more friends and all of our family Pete's Fund was born.

I never imagined just three months ago that we would be where we are today. I cannot thank you all enough. Each and every one of you is amazing and we are so very lucky to have you all here.

I shall now hand you over to Pete as he would like to say a few words. Thank you.


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