Today would have been my mum's birthday. She would have been 84. But she died young, aged just 44, of lymphoma. Ten months ago to the day, my dad died - albeit at a much more respectable age - of an untreatable form of leukaemia. The prognosis for patients with lymphoma has, in the main, improved significantly in the 40 years since my mum died. But it is nevertheless the fifth most common cancer in the UK and the most common cancer in young people aged 15 -24. And for some the outlook remains very poor.
In the UK, someone is diagnosed with lymphoma on average once every 40 minutes. And someone is diagnosed with leukaemia every 62 minutes or so. And even with improved treatments, support and prognosis it's still not good news.
So, I am doing this challenge to say 'thank you'. Thank you to my two lovely parents. Thank you to the researchers , doctors , nurses and other health, care and support workers – past, present and future – involved in searching for cures, improving treatments and offering care and support to patients and their loved ones. I’m doing the Grand Union Challenge to say ‘thank you’ for my own health and to remind myself what a precious gift this is. And I’m doing it to raise money – to help beat blood cancers.
To borrow a phrase from one of the supermarkets, ‘every little helps’. Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me this far – your support continues to help get me out of bed and training on cold, wet, windy mornings. If you haven’t yet sponsored me and feel able to – just follow the link to my fundraising page. Thank you.