Teenage Cancer Trust and me
I was introduced to Teenage Cancer Trust by friends about 4 years ago and was very moved by the personal stories of those who spoke at the event – both patients and family members. Having 5 children of my own, aged from 8 to 22, I was particularly affected by the potential for what might happen to any one of them as well as to the family as a whole should any of them be diagnosed.
Spending time with cancer patients and seeing their extraordinary courage at first hand made me feel incredibly humble and I really wanted to do something positive. I was lucky enough to get involved with a very active fund raising group over a number of years and with the very real goal of the new unit in the South West being built, it gave a sense of purpose to it.
When another friend proposed the fundraising idea of ‘4 marathons in 4 days’, I felt that this was something I could do as a personal challenge. It didn’t involve running, swimming, cycling or anything else – just lots of walking which felt possible! However, the reality of the amount of training soon dawned on me and it did involve a lot of hours over the weeks beforehand.
As with all challenges it’s about pushing your own boundaries, so whenever I felt either lazy or stretched I thought about the patients and inspiring staff which made it easy to keep going. I knew that the new unit was near completion and however modest the sum I raised was, it was going to a very immediate cause.
I was incredibly lucky to have the chance to do the 4M4M and be part of a great group of people who were all pushing their individual boundaries. Many of the group suffered terrible blisters, strains and debilitating aches and pains but I was lucky, and by comparison to anything Teenage Cancer Trust’s patients were experiencing, nothing at all!
The walk itself from Chipping Campden to Bath (The Cotswold Way) was stunningly beautiful and one of those special moments when time stands still and you can appreciate every minute. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to achieve something a little out of the ordinary and hugely rewarding whilst not costing much at all. Not only that but you have the best possible inspiration in making even a small difference to the lives of some amazing young people.