I am sure most people reading this have lost a family member, friend, or known someone who has lost their life to cancer.
I myself have lost my mums sister, Aunty Kathy in 2012 who had leiomyosarcma, and also her best friend Heather Clark to ovarian cancer, just last year.
My Aunty Kathy was only 48 when she passed away. It was an extremely difficult time for us as a family, and for me because she was the first person I knew in my family to have died. Being very close to my grandparents highlighted the heartbreak and devastation of losing someone to cancer, especially for them losing one of their children and for my mum losing her younger sister. Aunty Kathy was a fun loving, free spirit who set up her life in Sydney. She would regularly come back for a holiday and see us, and I've been lucky enough to visit Australia twice where we met some of her lovely friends who we are still in contact with. I am riding in memory of Aunty Kathy because she was always proud of me growing up in whatever I did, and although she was allergic to horses I am sure she would be proud of me taking part in the race.
Heather was born with thalidomide which meant she had no arms or legs, but this never stopped her doing anything. She worked for Yorkshire Television as a researcher and producer. When Heather discovered the Riding for the Disabled Association, she took up carriage driving and went on to represent Great Britain at National and International level as a Para-Equestrian Driver. When I was 6, we went to Germany for the World Para-Driving Championships, although I fondly remember spending many weekends going away with mum and Heather to carriage driving competitions where Heather would compete her beautiful horse Barney. I am riding in memory of Heather because we both share a love and passion for horses, but also because she has given me the inspiration to have the determination to take on this challenge.
I am so proud and pleased to have been selected to ride in this race. Any donation will be greatly appreciated and will help the work of this amazing charity. Thank you❤️