Independent on Sunday's Happy List 2014 (NOT the Rich List): Carmel Allen and Josephine Drew, charity founders

 

Carmel Allen's daughter Josephine was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer when she was just two years old. Carmel had known something was wrong with her daughter for more than a year. Josephine, or JoJo as she is known, would barely make a noise.

"I would see tears rolling down her baby cheeks, but no sound came from her mouth. It was so distressing," she remembers.

Her child, she learnt, had a stage 3 neuroblastoma tumour squashed against her windpipe, obstructing her breathing. To increase the oxygen supply, she was given a tracheostomy at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital and underwent two rounds of chemotherapy. Finally, during an eight hour operation, the tumour was removed.

Josephine survived. But in 2004 Carmel created Kiss It Better "to turn Josephine's experience into something positive" and raise funds for research into childhood cancer, in particular paediatric oncology. The name came from how, during Josephine's illness, "whenever she was visibly upset I'd say, "Kiss it better."'

Carmel founded the institution as during the course of her daughter's illness she realised that just 3 percent of money raised to fight cancer went to these areas. One in 500 children under the age of 15 will develop cancer each year, which equates to around 1600 new cases each year.

 

A previous director at InStyle and the health and beauty editor at Vogue, she co-founded the charity with the support of not only Great Ormond Street but Estee Lauder. With the help of that company, and also with Clinique, she created a lipstick with the profits going to research for children cancer treatments.

Clinique also now makes a special, limited-edition product every year with House of Fraser, with half the profits going straight to Kiss It Better. "Every woman has a lipstick," Mrs Allen said. "This way she could treat herself or a friend to one and help others by doing so."

"I've had so much support from everyone," she explained, "the girls who work on the counter, the glossy magazines, the industry. They've all been raising money. It's not just the product." The two thousand women who work on Clinique counters across the country have raised more than £45,000 through events such as triathlons, climbing mountains and holding cake sales.

Josephine, now aged 12, helps her mother with the fund-raising by designing cards, and even spoke at a recent Clinique conference. The money that had been raised "makes me happy," she told those present, as it meant those who had been as ill as she once was would have a greater chance of getting better too.

Read more - Independent on Sunday's Happy List 2014

The full list of people who make life better for others
Tom Dowling, community journalist
Nikandre Kopcke, social entrepreneur
Robert Williams, kindness giver
Dolly Saville, legendary barmaid
Martin Griffiths, surgeon/lecturer
Jean Bishop, buzzing fundraiser
Aneeta Prem, anti-slavery campaigner
Finally ... 10 household names who went the extra mile

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Officer

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen at th...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - London - £40,000 + Bonus

£36000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own