So, my ‘Race for Life’ is THIS Sunday and I can’t wait. Sounds funny doesn’t it? Someone who usually finds it incredibly difficult to find motivation to do any exercise at all, is excited about running 5K? Hard to believe isn’t it (especially if you’ve read my exercise blogs) but I am though, I’m excited. So, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about why I do the ‘Race for Life’ so you can sort of understand why I’m so excited! Also, if you’re kind enough to sponsor me (link at the bottom) then at least you know why you’re sponsoring and what it means to me.
Before I start, I want you to know that is by no means a sob story where I feelvery hard done by and am using my position or story to get sponsors, because I’m not. I just want you to understand why I do it and why I feel it’s important my reasons aren’t ignored.
So, when I was 14, I received the news that my mum had Breast Cancer. Cancer…a word you’d never think you’d hear your own mum say, a word you never truly understand until you’ve heard it from the mouth of someone you love, a word I’m not and never will be a fan of and the one word that can scare me more than any other. It’s true; one word can really have that effect on someone but then it’s not just a word is it!
Running the ‘Race for Life‘ – 2008
I didn’t really know how to feel when I was told. I think I remember that I wanted to try and be strong for my mum but inside, I felt a huge hole and didn’t know how to fill it. Thinking about it now and as I type up this blog, I am struggling to hold back the tears and I am finding it difficult writing this but I will keep going, because it needs to be said. It’s hard to explain but a million and one things run through your mind and you consider all the worst possible situations. I have a terrible memory, which in this case is probably a good thing but I do remember two things; I remember visiting mum in the hospital when she gave me a poem she had written (which I won’t share because it’s between us but I keep hold of this poem to remind me how lucky I am) and I remember sobbing myself to sleep. I couldn’t bear the thought of her not being around anymore. All these feelings and thoughts were going on in MY mind and I wasn’t even the one having to face the cancer! I can’t even begin to imagine what it feels like for someone who is faced with it. All I know that for us, as a family, it was an absolutely awful time. I asked my mum if she minded me writing this and she said it was fine but asked me not to make her out as a hero and I understand that, I understand that we are incredibly lucky and that things could have been a lot, lot worse but I will tell you this, during that time, my mum was so strong and incredibly brave! During that time, my mum WAS a hero, to me! I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it, it was the worst time of my life so far and I would never ever wish it on anyone.
However, as I said earlier, we are very, very lucky because we have a happy ending; my mum is still here today and that word, ‘Cancer’ that such a lot of people fear so much, was stopped in its tracks, proven wrong, beaten, it was essentially told to eff off and for once, it did. For so many people across the world, the story doesn’t end so well. The heartbreak, the hole that I felt, the sobbing to sleep only gets worse and their best friend, soulmate, mother, father are taken from them and Cancer wins. I genuinely feel incredibly lucky to still have my mum in my life, I am thankful each time I speak to her or whenever I see her. I am aware that this sounds extreme and you probably think, she can’t be thankful all the time but I truly, truly am! My mum is my best friend and I’m so grateful that I got to keep her.
Do you know that 1 in every 3 people is faced with Cancer in their life and that every two minutes in the UK someone is diagnosed with it? Now, I don’t know about you but I have four very close friends and this statistic suggests that at least one of us will get cancer, how utterly terrifying is that? Even after so many years of dealing with, fighting and facing cancer I still think that it isn’t talked about enough. Up until today, I haven’t really talked about how that time made me feel and I bet my mum hasn’t either. With all the media and the publicity cancer seems to get, it still feels slightly like a taboo subject where people don’t like to talk about their experiences or discuss it with people and shy away from the terrifying experiences cancer makes you face. I’m not too sure why this is but I do think it needs to change. I watched ‘The C Word’ on BBC 1 not too long ago and if you haven’t seen it, it is definitely worth a watch. It is based on a true story and it’s so raw and eye opening. It made me realise how lucky we are and fueled my anger towards cancer even more. It needs to be stopped, it needs to be told to eff off altogether and to leave everyone alone and this is where my ‘Race for Life’ comes into it.
The ‘Race for Life‘ does a few things for me, it slams me back down to the ground when I read all the comments about who people are racing for; young girls of no more than 6 running for their mums, mums running for their daughters, groups of ladies running together for different people; their grandfathers, their dads, their sisters, their uncles…! It makes me realise that I was a lucky one; I got to keep my mum! That brings me nicely to the second thing it does for me; I run with my mum and I know how lucky I am that I get to do that and don’t take it for granted at all. We have run it together now for 10 years, this will be our 11th (mum has done 12) and those 11 years of running together have given me some of the best memories with my mum and that leads me nicely to my third thing it does for me, I enjoy it. It’s such a lovely day out where you can meet new people and create memories. Dan and dad usually come to support us and we all have a lush day together and that, my friends, is why I get so excited.
Dan and Dad Supporting
I love it because I get to spend a day with my mum, running with her, thinking about how lucky I am to have her running by my side. Now, those are all lovely reasons to do it but I’m very aware they’re all fairly selfish reasons too and they’re not the only reasons why I do it. I do it because just a small bit of money (even just my entry fee) will help fund research into finding a way to give cancer the boot for good, the clothes I donate go straight to a charity shop and sold to make money, again to help specialists get closer to diagnose, treat and prevent cancer quicker. So, that’s why I do it. The ‘Race for Life’ not only fights against Breast Cancer, it fights 200 different types of cancers and helps people with stories to tell all over the UK. I have a story, and others have stories that tell a sadder tale and I want to do whatever I can to prevent others from having stories too.
So, I run. It’s not much, I could do A LOT more but it’s something and I do it, and I do it with my mum.
If you do want to sponsor us, we would be so grateful but even if you just give cancer a second thought then my mission is complete.
Please sponsor us here: https://www.justgiving.com/katerawles1