This is what love, kindness and compassion looks like. These are my friends. My army.
To be more accurate – this is just a small portion of my army. So many others play a massive part in getting me through every single day.
I can’t say that it was ever a desire of mine to have those that I love running around Arrow Valley in Redditch, raising funds for CRUK, with my name pinned to their backs. It’s everyone’s worst nightmare. But, it is what it is, and these guys really pulled out all the stops for me at the weekend. I felt humbled seeing all the photos, especially when I know quite how passionately some of these lovelies hate running!
I was absolutely gutted to be too poorly with chemo side effects to be able to turn out and cheer everyone on. These lovely ladies have been so supportive over the last few horrific months that turning up seemed to be the very least I could do. But even this expert control freak couldn’t actually control events of that day and I had to accept it wasn’t to be. Thankfully Ad kept me updated with a constant stream of photos, many of which made me sob!
This one got to me.
My beautiful girl. This isn’t what I’d wished for her when I held her in my arms for the very first time. As parents, we all have many hopes and dreams for our kids, but essentially all we really want is for them to be happy and healthy. Anything more is a bonus. Bringing cancer into their lives jeopardised all that. Cancer has brought them stress, pain, tears and anger. This wasn’t my plan.
This pic broke me.
My boy, overwhelmed with the emotion of the event, seeing my name on so many backs. He turned to his sister to hold him while he shed a few tears. I should have been there. I should have been able to put my arms around Josh, to support Abbie in her first Race for Life, to hug all my friends who mean so much to me. But cancer and chemotherapy had other ideas.
I didn’t spend all of my time sobbing though! Mostly I was loving seeing photos of everyone smiling, laughing and having a good time. I was particularly happy to see Naked Mandy make an appearance as my understudy.
Everyone, please meet Naked Mandy.
Naked Mandy belongs to Georgia – the daughter of Libby, one of my closest friends. Naked Mandy wasn’t always naked and bald. She started off life as a fully clothed doll with hair that could be changed. Just like me. So she was christened Mandy. But then she lost her hair and her clothes (no, not like me!) and morphed into Naked Mandy. It turns out that Naked Mandy isn’t the best runner though and had to be carried around the 5k course – in Libby’s (sweaty???) cleavage!
I think Georgia was quite concerned for Naked Mandy’s welfare – she had to rescue her from her mum’s boobs!
I’ve no real idea how much this lovely lot raised for CRUK – there were so many donation pages flying around that it was impossible to keep track. But I do know it was in excess of £3k, which is a fabulous achievement. Research is vital. New drugs keep people alive. Research into drug side effects stops needless suffering. One day there may even be a cure. Every penny raised really does count.
So many people have sponsored one of the gang already and I thank you.
For those of you that would still like to donate, this is Abbie’s fundraising page – but any CRUK page will do the trick.