One of the standout teams from our crop of Unstoppables this month is led by Vanessa Peterkin, who is taking on a 10k run in Battersea Park on Saturday 30 November along with a group of friends in memory of her mum, Chris Bigham. The team’s incredible fundraising total currently stands in excess of £12,700.
By her own admission, Vanessa started out as “a total running rookie with a questionable running gait”, but she and the team have been training hard in order to be ready for the big day, spurred on by a determination both to honour Chris’s memory and to raise funds to support our research into blood cancers.
Vanessa first got in touch with us back in March after her mum sadly passed away after a courageous battle against Hodgkin's lymphoma. Chris had been treated for the disease since May 2012. She was in remission by December 2012 but tragically developed severe respiratory failure (acute pneumonitis) as a direct result of one of the chemotherapy drugs, bleomycin, that was being administered to her.
Vanessa on her mother and her fundraising challenge: “Throughout her life she gave a huge amount of her time to help raise funds for various charitable causes and so it only seems right that I try and live up to her legacy, in a very small way, by doing this run in her memory. I am so very grateful to a wonderful bunch of girlfriends who, without exception, took up the 10k run gauntlet without hesitation. Their kindness and unswerving support back in January and to this day has been unbelievable and I am so thrilled to be running (well, staggering, in my case!) with them at the end of November.”
Stories of patients such as Chris really reinforce the need for us to continue research into how the potentially harmful side effects of treatments can be minimised, without compromising the treatment’s overall effectiveness.
You can sponsor Vanessa and the team here: https://www.justgiving.com/Vanessa-Peterkin
Above: The 12-strong team in Battersea Park after completing their run.