One day we will beat cancer

Fundraising is hard. 

It comes with amazing highs – like receiving a donation from a stranger and the knowledge that you are supported by your friends and family.

It also sometimes comes with a bit of disappointment – although I don’t expect anyone to donate, there are some people who I hope will support me, and sometimes they don’t. Some people say they will sponsor you, then don’t do it. It’s hard not to feel disappointed. It doesn’t have to be much, everyone can afford a fiver right?

Having spent most of 2012 doing pub quizzes, bake sales, taking a baked bean bath and trekking to Everest Base Camp to raise over £8,000 for Cancer Research UK, it was never my intention to take on fundraising as part of this trip. But several people asked if they could sponsor me and it would be foolish to miss an opportunity to try and raise a bit more. 

And this is why I do it:   

This is my big Grandad…

He died 23 years ago from a cancer in his throat, shortly after he retired. I was only 9 when he died and my memories of him are somewhat hazy. I remember he had his voice box removed and he couldn’t speak, he had a hole in his throat, he had to talk by pushing an electronic device to his neck which made him sound like a Dalek and I remember the devastation when he died. But more importantly I remember sitting on his knee in the armchair, he called me Princess. He loved me. And I loved him. And those memories are the most precious. 

I wish I had the chance to know him properly, to ask more questions, to find out about his life. I often wonder what he would think of me now, whether I would have made him proud and how much he would have enjoyed seeing his grandchildren grow up.  

This is my Little Grandad…

7 years ago he died from cancerous tumours in his neck. With radiotherapy and chemotherapy he lived with the cancer for about a year, until the treatment stopped working. At 77, he lived life to the full – windsurfing if the wind was right and rollerblading if it wasn’t (oldest rollerblader in town!). I was fortunate to be able to create many memories that I can call upon to make me smile. The conversations about his latest theory on drugs he picked up from the Daily Mail, the way he called me Fat Bum and sitting on the wall and watching the wind…

  

I miss him and I wish he was still here. 

It has been said that I get my adventurous spirt from my Grandad who had his own fair share of adventures. I am really proud to be like him. 

This is Jane…

5 years ago, at 60, Jane was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach which had spread to the liver. With no warning signs, the cancer had spread too far for any chance of a cure. Surgery extended her life expectancy from 2 weeks and, along with radiotherapy and chemotherapy, gave her just 6 short months.  

I was in two minds about whether to share the next picture because it it difficult to look at, but this is the reality of the shitty disease that cancer is. 

It’s hard. It’s horrible. It’s heartbreaking. 

Jane was an amazing lady, taken too soon.  Strong. Straightforward. Honest. Kind. She spent her life teaching children that no one else would bother with. Rest in peace Jane. 

This is Thomas…

Thomas had lung cancer and died at only 9 and a half. He was handsome, terrified of everything – especially plastic bags, had a squirty cream addiction and he was my mate. 

I miss him. 

I really miss him. 

Saying goodbye to someone, knowing it’s the last time you will ever see them is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. 

I have personally know people with cancers of the skin, brain, stomach, liver, breast, cervix, throat, neck, lung – and probably more if I had the strength to continue thinking of it. 

A few people have asked me why I have chosen to support Cancer Research UK. This is why. In the memory of these people. So others don’t have to experience the pain and suffering that cancer causes. And it’s why I will continue my support whenever and however I can.

I have had some fantastic donations and some great support so far. I know some people are waiting until the going gets tough to give me a little boost! My fundraising total stands at £2,297.54 already! Largely due to a very generous donation from my employer…(no, I’m not stood in a hole):

I hate cancer. I know I’m not alone. 

Please donate what you can, and with your support we can help beat cancer sooner. If a lot of people donate a little it will make a big difference. 

You can donate here: www.justgiving.com

Thank you. 

Now, I’m finally about to get on the plane and the real adventure is about to begin…

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