It started with a run…

Cancer Research UK Photograph by Richard Walker/ImageNorth

My blog started all those many moons ago to record my running journey but turned out to be more than that. Before my treatment in 2015 for primary breast cancer I ran Race for Life to raise money, I saw it as I way of taking my mind off the upcoming treatment and when it had finished I felt it was my way of giving back, saying thankyou to the team that got me through it and basically celebrating life.

Cancer Research UK Photograph by Richard Walker/ImageNorth

A lot of people see Breast Cancer as one of those ‘lucky’ cancers to get because of the success rate and while it is one of the better ones there are 31 who are diagnosed every day with secondary, cancer that while they can treat they can’t cure.

It wasn’t until my secondary diagnosis that I resurrected my blog, mainly to keep friends and family abreast of how treatment was going and life in general that I realised that Covid had hit so many charities, all scrambling for money which people find hard to donate with the cost of living so high.

In a week where we had the devastating news that Deborah James (Bowel Babe) died of Bowel Cancer, she was brilliant at keeping things at the forefront of peoples minds and even when she was given palliative care was still raising millions for research – a cure that she knew wasn’t going to help her.

Deborah James and her children

I was approached while on holiday in Gran Canaria via email asking if I wished to tell my story with the hope that it would help people sign up and raise funds for Race For Life Cancer Research UK. Happy to help – just not while lazing by the pool!

So since then I been in contact with Michaela who is the Senior Regional Media Relations Officer – I know a mouthful, luckily for me I didn’t have to stand to attention and she has been such a lovely person to talk to and finally meet. I do find that I have been privileged to meet some fantastic people, and if I hadn’t had this diagnosis maybe our paths would never have crossed.

The 23rd June was arranged with the photographer Richard Walker, a really nice guy who I am sure was more used to taking photos of famous people for the National Newspapers than taking photos of someone dazzling him in PINK! But that’s what I tried to do DAZZLE, from a woman who hated seeing herself in photos when younger to one who embraces that I am still here and I want people to see that I am!

Richard made the shoot fun – two hours of fun and then Michaela topped it off by asking questions for a YouTube video. Just got the photos back today and local newspapers have taken it up and posted the article which they have done me proud.

Cancer Research UK Photograph by Richard Walker/ImageNorth

I can’t run anymore, the risk is too great that I will fracture but I hope that by reading this it encourages you to put on a pair of trainers – find your local Race for Life and Run, Jog or Walk, encourage your friends to do it – make it a party at the back – I started in 2004 Skipton and it led me to do the London Marathon and along the way I made fantastic friends.

Remember that everything helps, no matter how small and while it probably won’t help me in my lifetime I hope that the next generation will not go through the same diagnosis as I and many other Cancer patients go through. One day the Race for Life might not be needed but until then please sign up.

RIP Deborah James 28.06.22

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