Last week I turned 26. No biggie. A couple of weeks previously my paternal grandfather became the 3rd of my grandparents to be diagnosed with cancer. The time has come to do something.
My maternal grandfather died in October 1992. He was 47 years of age and although we suspect that he may have been diagnosed much earlier, he passed away 6 months after breaking the news. My maternal grandmother is still with us, less a kidney with cancer which was removed 5 years ago. My paternal grandfather, Roger has an unusual type of cancer that was recently discovered by his dentist. He's due surgery and radiotherapy shortly.
I think a lot of people expect me to be upset by this news, but the truth is, it has really just fueled the fire beneath me to DO something. We're incredibly fortunate that diagnosis and treatment have come along way since 1992, and as a result as many people now survive cancer than die because of it. In the case of Roger, we're hopeful that it's been caught quickly enough that the planned surgery and radiotherapy will stop cancer in it's tracks. But how do we keep that momentum going forward? How do we turn that statistic into a diagnosis that means you're MORE likely to survive than not?
For me, the answer is supporting Cancer Research UK. As a business, we support the charity by making donations, we have chosen to support a charity rather than send out Christmas cards as well as other support we provide throughout the year, On a personal level, I choose to support cancer charities but no others- I wish I could afford to help everyone, but I can't so I have made the choice to help where I feel I can and I want to. This year I want to do something bigger and something more.
So here's the plan: 100 kilometres before my 27th birthday. 100km isn't that far to ride on a bike, something I've done before, so I'm going to run that far instead. Me, the self-confessed non-runner.
June 14th: 1.6km Amba Hotels City Mile
June 21st: 10km Nike Women's 10km #werunlondon
July 19th: 10km Race For Life Hyde Park
September 13: 10km Run To The Beat
October 4th: 42km Race For Life Marathon Lee Valley
March 2016: 21km Cambridge Half Marathon
May 2016: 21 Run Hackney Half Marathon
And a little bonus- I've applied for a Cancer Research UK place for the Virgin London Marathon 2016. If I am successful in September, it will take my one year total to just over 145km run before my 27th birthday.
I'm sure that you're all bombarded very regularly with requests for sponsorship- I certainly am, and nothing pains me more than being asked to sponsor someone for a race or event they had already planned or wanted to do regardless. The only event above that I had decided to run, merely as a personal challenge is the Nike Women's 10km on June 21st, and I never envisaged I'd be pushing myself in my 26th year on the planet to train for any kind of running event let alone half marathons or even marathons. All support- encouragement, cheering at any of the races or sponsorship is greatly appreciated- you can find my JustGiving page HERE (or text CTBP69 £5 to 70070) and if you're a brand reading this who would like to be involved in my challenge by providing products or kit for review and promotion, please email: email@example.com
Better get to the training I guess!