Through 2018 I will be undertaking a series of walks along the Thames Path – a 184-mile route from the source in Gloucestershire to the Thames Barrier. I will be walking for approximately 16 days spread throughout the year.
Please join me for some, or all of it, and learn how it feels to have to walk many miles just for clean water. And please donate so those currently living that reality won’t have. I will update this page and my Facebook page with details of the next walk, or email me for details.
Clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene should be a normal part of everyone’s daily life. Without all three, people can’t live dignified, healthy lives. With all three, they can unlock their potential, break free from poverty and change their lives for good. With clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene, children are born healthier. They get the chance to go to school and grow up to become adults. Women and men get to earn a living. Whole communities start to thrive. It sounds normal and it should be.
The long version:
At the end of 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had treatment during most of 2017. As with many people who go through something like this I was inspired to raise money for charity once I was healthy again.
During my treatment I realised how incredibly lucky I am. The NHS provided me with a free doctors appointment and hospital visits to quickly establish my diagnosis. My husband paid into medical insurance meaning I could receive my treatment at a private hospital where friends and family could come along and keep me company during those long chemo days. Many years of high profile campaigning by cancer research companies meant my drugs could be tailored to my exact needs, and the generosity of the public meant there were a number of other charities who looked after my holistic needs.
So why not raise money for them? Because I realised how lucky I am and how ridiculous it is that some countries don’t even have proper access to clean water and sanitation, let alone the advancements needed to get to a complete pathological response less than a year after finding a lump.
Therefore, I am raising money for WaterAid, one of the few international charities working to provide clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to millions of people. It sounds normal, and it should be.