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

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

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week