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I'd rashly said I'd join my daughter, Aliss hiking the Te Araroa Trail (The Long Pathway in Maori) in New Zealand but not all 3000km!! I'm not that crazy. Just a quarter of it, approximately 620km (382+ miles) in 30 days over the Southern Alps and raging rivers through the beautiful remote terrain of New Zealand's South Island to the southern tip at Bluff. Such a staggering challenge for me merited a motivational cause and when I found that my oldest bestest friend, Ro had been diagnosed with DCIS in March, I asked her if I could raise money for her preferred Breast Cancer charity. I then received the shocking news that my big sis, Lindsay had also just been diagnosed with DCIS so this clinched my decision!!
I started my 3 month training programme of strengthening exercises and walking in order to prevent injuries whilst on trail. It is a 'no gym' programme so I have support from my husband, Mike and dog, Tedi and my oldest bestest friend Ro, as my exercise reps increase and my walking distances, elevations and backpack weight increases. I have received fantastic advice for my backpacking gear from old friends - John & Lou as we (daughter and I) shall be camping, cooking and hiking with all our gear on our backs.
Both Ro and Lindsay have received such prompt empathetic care and resources from their Oncology and Breast Surgery teams during diagnosis, treatment and now aftercare support (Lindsay has now finished radiotherapy treatment) that I have no hesitation in my aim to raise money to support Breast Cancer Now.
Breast Cancer Now works to make sure the world-class research taking place in their labs, and the life-changing care and support they provide to those who so desperately need it, continues. Their aim is to create a future where everyone who develops breast cancer lives – and is supported to live well.