As many of you know, I am running the London Marathon in 3 weeks' time. Many people keep asking for my charity page, and as I was lucky enough to secure a ballot place, I didn't have one. However, listening to everyone's motivations - I realised I have the chance to do some good whilst torturing myself for 26.2 miles.
One story inspired me - and it comes from an inspirational young woman, Alex, who I sit next to every day. Two years ago, Alex lost her best friend, Hatti, to a very rare form of cancer. Hatti was 24 years old.
On reading Hatti's story and her overwhelmingly positive approach to a truly sad situation, you cannot help but be inspired and reflective of how unfair life can be and take a bit of perspective in your own situation.
However, I am equally inspired by Alex and her friends' response to what happened. In the last few months of Hatti's illness, they set up and supported a fund called Smile for Hatti. The goal of the fund was to enable some improved quality of life in the weeks and months leading up to her death. The financial support provided by friends enabled a stairlift to be installed, massage sessions helped ease her pain and complementary therapies meant that she never gave up hope. She wanted a charity to be set up in order to do this for others in a similar position and henceforth, what was Smile for Hatti became Smile from Hatti.
Two years on, they continue this charity in Hatti's memory, as well as encouraging people to give blood, a cause Hatti passionately supported in order to help others, even when she knew there was nothing more that could be done for her.
So there is the motivation I needed. When I get to mile 20 and I want to cry, I can draw inspiration and perspective from Hatti's story. Her obvious positivity and lust for life, which continues in the actions of her friends with Smile from Hatti.
Please read Hatti's story: https://smilefromhatti.com/
& donate whatever you can to ensure the memory of this beautiful young girl can continue to help others.