With cancer being the leading cause of death from disease in children under 15 in the UK, it’s a parent’s worst nightmare to hear a diagnosis being given for their own child. Achieving the seemingly impossible, Beauty Director Carmel Allen turned this devastating news into something positive by founding Clinique ’s KISS IT BETTER campaign, which has just celebrated its 10th anniversary.
On Tuesday, GTG attended an event hosted by Edith Bowman to commemorate this milestone, to hear about Carmel and daughter Josephine’s inspiring story and to find out more about the beauty brand’s collaboration with Great Ormond Street Hospital, House of Fraser and designer Lulu Guinness to support this year’s appeal.
Founded by Carmel following the diagnosis and treatment of her daughter Josephine for Neuroblastoma (a type of cancer caused by problems in the development of nerve cells) at Great Ormond Street Hospital, the initiative aims to fund research into the causes and treatment of childhood cancer. Both mother and daughter delivered a truly moving speech recollecting what they went through and inspired the audience with their vision for the future of the campaign: to help and encourage children to fundraise for children and to continue raising awareness and money for the cause.
Speaking about her motivation behind the campaign, Carmel said, “The premise was really simple, KISS IT BETTER is something every parent says and does when their child is sick or injured. I wanted to turn Josephine’s experience into something positive and to help make a difference to the lives of children with cancer everywhere.”
She added, “Ten years on, I feel exactly the same way. Jojo is an inspiration to me, she feels as passionately about helping other children as I do and when we go for check-ups she always says how lucky she is to be well.” She certainly is an amazing inspiration to us: articulate, intelligent with a maturity beyond her years, there really couldn’t be a better figure to spearhead the message that cancer need not defeat you nor define your past or future, no matter your age.
The campaign has raised approximately £800,000 in the past decade for Great Ormond Street Hospital and hopes to increase this sum further in 2014 with continued fundraising and the launch of three new products available from the 1st of February , including a collaboration with famed British designer, Lulu Guinness. Speaking at the launch Lulu said, “We wanted to bring a bit of colour and brightness to those who are going through this.” She added, “As a brand, we try to cheer people up and we wanted to bring this to the campaign by creating accessories that broadcast the message of KISS IT BETTER.”