It’s been a funny old week. Apologies for the radio silence but I’ve been sorting out a few things. This blog post isn’t about interiors or styling but something else very close to my heart.
First up, I completed a 10k race for a charity called Willow Foundation. They provide special days for young adults with serious illnesses. A worthy cause I think you will agree. I did NO training for this race, 5k is the furthest I have ever run. I know, I know, very silly but luckily I completed it without throwing up, pulling a muscle or making a tit of myself. Hurrah! Though I did get stung 4 times on my back by hornets. I managed to reach the great old age of 30 before getting stung, so being in a field was not the ideal location to see if I was allergic. Turns out I’m not thank goodness.
I was also so thankful to the runners that stopped their race to help me get them out of my vest and sports bra. Not pleasant for anyone. 1 hr 12 minutes was my time, which I thought was pretty good considering the hornet issues. For those runners amongst you, the route was utterly beautiful. In the grounds of Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, the route included road, track, field and woods so very interesting and varied. It was well sign posted and marshals with regular stops were also present. So go on, sign up for next year! 5k and 10k options available.
On another charity note, I attended a Pancreatic Cancer UK Supporters Day in Oxford. As some of you may know my beautiful mum died from this cancer on the 31st July 2015. Horrible and cruel. I suppose she was one of the ‘lucky’ ones that had almost 2 years. Survival for this type of cancer is horrific. I’m talking less than 3% survive 5 years and this hasn’t changed for 40 years. The charity itself is a new one, only 30 employees and properly running as a business for 6 years. They are the only charity to fund research, support and campaign for Pancreatic Cancer patients and their amazing carers.
I booked my place long before my mum died so I was really in two minds whether I should go. I honestly wasn’t sure if it would be beneficial for me to go, let alone if I would be strong enough to talk to anyone there. From the moment I got there, all, and I mean all, we’re so unbelievably lovely to me. There was a mixture of patients, survivors and carers. The strongest group of people I have ever met. It puts everything into perspective I suppose.
They all seemed to have something in common with my mum, apart from being affected by the crappy cancer, they all had hope that something could be done. My mum believed she could be saved right up to the day she died.
A lady next to me had refused chemo so hired a homeopath to change her diet and way of living. She was attending because of the recent media coverage about genotherapy. A couple wanted to find out about diet as she, the patient, had gone completely organic to see if she could take matters into her own hands. I suspect a lot of people that are sick do this. To take some control of an illness that controls them so much in their day to day life. I keep saying it, but they were so brave and inspiring. I’m not sure I would face it with such bravery, even summon up the energy to leave my house.
Debbie Wells, Community Engagement Manager, was leading the day along with some colleagues from the charity. All were very kind, sensitive and engaging. Something that also suprised me was that Cancer Research UK only use 1% of the funding into researching Pancreatic Cancer. How appalling.
The day consisted of a key note speaker from Oxford University, a question and answer session, volunteering and fundraising talk, a yummy lunch and a Mindfulness session. Professor Bart Conelisson was amazing. I don’t think I was alone in thinking that it would be a whole load of bad news unfortunately, however, there is some real progress being made. It’s exciting!
Leann, from the fundraising team, gave us some good ideas about how us normal folk could get involved in some fundraising. So here is where you come in!
- London Marathon 2016
- Corporate funding
- Trek for Hope 2016
- Host for Hope November 2015
- Call everyone Dave Day 8th Feb
- Direct debit giving
- 1st November, light up buildings purple
- Support groups
- Bupa 10k
More brilliant ideas are on their website, so something for everyone, no excuses.
I really really encourage you to do something for these charities. Anything will do. Give em a fiver. Anything. It’s truly an awful, crappy horrible cancer (not that any of them are nice of course!) It is known as the silent killer as you have no symptoms until it is generally terminal and nothing can be done.