May 2018 - Organising a 'Light up the Night' walk in Aberystwyth!
Saturday 5th May 2018 - Gung-Ho! 5k Cardiff.
September 2018 - Cardiff 10k
Other challenges/events being planned
24 hour Twitch livestream
Wales 3 Peaks challenge
Completed challenges so far!
22/07/17 - TCC Light up the Night 10k walk
03/12/17 - Aberystwyth Charity 10k
Tenovus Cancer Care is a charity very close to my heart. For over 6 years, I have been volunteering with Tenovus Cancer Care in a number of areas, from retail work and administration roles, to event marshalling and photography.
Throughout that time, I've transitioned from college, to university, to work, yet my engagement and commitment with the charity hasn't changed. I've seen the charity grow and offer new services since I started volunteering with them, and witnessed first hand just how much Tenovus Cancer Care has helped people affected by cancer.
At first sight, you probably wouldn't think that I've been affected by cancer. While I'm fortunate to not have been diagnosed with cancer, that doesn't mean that it still hasn't affected me.
Before I begun volunteering with Tenovus Cancer Care, I had three close family members who were diagnosed by cancer. My Nan and Aunt were both diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and both were able to get treatment to beat this. The treatment consisted of a lumpectomy and courses of Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy.
My mothers diagnosis was the one that hit me hard. She was diagnosed with Womb Cancer, and by this point, it had already spread. Thankfully, they were able to treat it and prevent further growth by performing a hysterectomy. However, this also came with some of its own side effects. As well as no longer being able to have a child, there were also some knock-on effects to her mental health. I remember a couple of days after my mother was discharged from the hospital, waking up during the early hours of the morning to the sound of my mother crying in bed. I must have spent about an hour just sitting there with her trying to comfort her, until she was tired enough to fall back asleep.
How did this affect me? I made it my mission to support everyone around me where I could. A lot of the time, it was just listening to others and letting them get stuff off their chest. The constant hospital visits and basically just not being at home and having to travel regularly while my mother was in hospital was causing some financial burden on the family, and personally having to find the time to balance school work on top of that, during a period where I would have been transitioning from GCSE to A-Level almost broke me.
It was difficult for the whole family to keep a straight face some days. For a while, it felt like any friendships I had were straining. More to the point, it felt like some friends just didn't get it! I remember one person retaliating at me during one of my lowest points saying "well you didn't have cancer!", but it doesn't work like that.
For me, the reality was that a person close to me is seriously ill with the possibility of dying as you just don't know the outcome until post-treatment, and you're using all of your energy trying to support that person and everyone around you, while trying to juggle everything else in your life and trying to process everything yourself in that situation.
I think some people don't realise that the reality in that situation is that trying to support those affected brings on a range of challenges for the entire family. Not just having to provide emotional support, but in terms of your own finances and time, and having to find whatever resource you can to just be there. It creates additional stress that you simply shouldn't have to worry about just because you're there trying to look after someone. For some people, they may be fortunate enough to have the finance and the resources. But others will continue to have that resource there for you.
During my mother's experience, we had virtually no outside help. The NHS and charities supporting the NHS provided some level of support for my mother, and to help make her time at hospital feel less stressful and more enjoyable, but I have no memory of the family receiving any kind of support from an external party like Tenovus Cancer Care, which really could have made a difference for the whole family.
Following the 2016 Volunteer Awards and receiving the 'Young Volunteer' award, I've been looking to find ways to help raise funds for the charity due to the lack of time I've had to volunteer. For a long time, I've wanted to create my own fundraising campaign for Tenovus Cancer Care to show my support away from the volunteering. And then some colleagues showed me this Macchu Piccu trek...
Now I'm not fit at all. If you asked me to do a 5k, I'd probably collapse at the 0.5k mark. I actually did try to do a 10k whilst at university when I was in better shape, and even then, I ran the first 1k, and spent the next 9k walking and wheezing towards the finish line. So this is going to be a behemoth of a challenge.
So why am I doing this? Just to quote my fav gal Lightning (don't judge me...), "It's not a question of can or can't. Some things in life you just do!"
I would do anything for Tenovus Cancer Care. The charity has become such an important part of my life and I genuinely believe the charity makes such a big impact on cancer care in Wales, both for cancer patients and for those close to them. I will always be part of #TeamTenovus.
So to try and prepare for this behemoth of a challenge, I'm plannning on organising fundraising events and challenges up until the trek in October 2018, and maybe even beyond that! I have a couple of event ideas that I want to trial, including events never done before by Tenovus Cancer Care. I really want to go all out with this and help fundraise as much as possible for Tenovus Cancer Care.
I'm aiming to regularly update my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with updates in the run-up to the event, such as any new events being planned, fundraising targets and showing off some of the Tenovus Cancer Care events and taking part in some challenges on the way. And of course, I'll be updating this JustGiving page as much as possible.
Please help support myself and support Tenovus Cancer Care, and please donate and show your support. Any support you can show for #TeamTenovus, and for this would be massively appreciated!
I'm genuinely looking forward to this challenge, and to the next 18 months of fundraising, and I hope you all enjoy following me on my journey to Macchu Piccu.
My road to Machu Picchu
I'm fundraising and taking on Macchu Piccu in 2018 for Tenovus Cancer Care because no one should have to deal with Cancer alone.
We bring treatment, support and advice to cancer patients & their loved ones.
Charity Registration No. 1054015