Kate had this wonderful idea of doing a physical challenge and after some persistence (nagging) and despite me telling her regularly to "do one" managed to persuade me to join her on this bonkers 100km ultra-challenge. It turns out Ciara, Tom and Rachael are also bonkers and wanted to join, so that's how it all started.
My reason for doing 2.5 marathons back-to-back is to raise money for brainstrust, a charity which offers everyday help and support to those people affected by brain tumours - patients, carers and family. The gang are supporting this charity because they are all super-nice humans :-)
For those of you who know me and Paul, you may have had the news already and you'll know why this charity is relevant but, to others, this will be your news update:
Paul was diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour in April 2018. He had a seizure (a fit, like you see on Casualty on the telly) in the street on the way to work, and was rushed to A&E (at St George's in Tooting, which is also on the telly, though 24 Hours in A&E is no longer a favourite programme of mine). After scans, we were told the news and Paul has spent much of the rest of 2018 enjoying more tests, brain scans, cognitive assessments and a biopsy (yep, they went into his brain). The good news is that the tumour is currently low grade and a long-term thing, so something which should sit there for some years before causing serious problems.
The medical advice has been to "carry on as normal" as much as possible, but this is obviously a game-changer; normal for 2019 will mean a 12-month programme of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Following that, maybe life will get a bit more back to normal with this third wheel we are now living with (so not normal at all to normal people). It has been hard but we've had massive support from family and friends, and the hospitals and NHS have been amazing, which has all really helped.
brainstrust's support has helped us get to grips with what we're facing and will have to face in the future and has been invaluable, particularly just after Paul was diagnosed. At first they provide a Brain Box to newly-diagnosed patients with lots of information covering all sorts from local support, to what the tumour is, to how to get help, and then ongoing counselling, support, information and guidance to deal with the diagnosis. They've helped us, and help many others so the donations you make truly will make a difference; they have for us already.
So please dig deep and SHOW US THE MONEY!