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Samantha Morris avatar
Samantha Morris

Samantha's Swedish Canoe Adventure on the Harkan River, September 2019

Canoeing 90km as a personal challenge for Odyssey because they helped me and I want to help them help others

82 %
£1,655.00
raised of £2,000 target
by 19 supporters
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  • Team members: Chris, Julie, James and Alison
  • Event: Swedish Canoe Adventure on the Harkan River, September 2019

Odyssey

Odyssey is a charity which enhances the quality of life for people with cancer through imaginative programmes of challenging and dramatic activities using the outdoors.

Charity Registration No. 1045259

Story

Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

Here's my story: In 2016, just before I turned 50, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. We always said we would do something special for my 50th birthday but this was not quite what we planned! 

I will never forget my daughters standing, waiting with the front door open as we pulled in the drive after visiting the hospital and having to tell them the diagnosis. 

My treatment went well and I was fortunate to have very few side effects. My family were absolutely brilliant especially my husband Steve who looked after me so well, never seeming to be daunted by it. 

However, just as I was coming out the other side and finishing my treatment I very sadly lost my lovely Mum to the same awful disease. 

This sent me into a complete downward spiral and I felt like I was on a roller-coaster that I just couldn't get off. My oncologist was very supportive trying various different routes for me but eventually he referred me to a charity called Odyssey for a week's residential course.

Here is the link to their website http://www.odyssey.org.uk/

The aim of the charity is to help people rebuild their lives after cancer. This snippet below, taken from their website, explains it better than I would be able to.

"Odyssey draws on the majesty of the outdoor environment, the Arts, the stimulation of uncertainty and surprise to help cancer patients of all ages and backgrounds regain their confidence and zest for life.

The course aims to help participants overcome the emotional and physical devastation caused by the illness by allowing them to move beyond a time of introspection and despair, and regain a sense of control of the next stage of their lives. We believe that access to the course should not be limited by financial considerations so sufficient funds are raised to enable us to offer all places at no cost to the participant."

My week with Odyssey was a real turning point in my recovery. So much so that, when the opportunity arose to support them myself I jumped at the opportunity. 

So...in September 2019 myself and 4 other people from my Odyssey week are taking part in a 5 day canoeing and wild camping expedition on the Harkan River in Sweden, run by Odyssey. Most people who know me well have quite a chuckle when I tell them as this is most unlike me!! But that's the effect that a week in Odyssey had! It was life-changing. I still have to work at things and have good days and bad but it firmly set me back on the right track.

My own travelling costs will be self-funded so all money raised will go to the charity. I would be so grateful if you would be able to help me towards achieving this goal. I really feel so privileged to have been given the opportunity to have the Odyssey experience.

At the moment I believe there are only 3 Odyssey courses a year in the whole country which take 10-15 people each time so you have to be incredibly lucky to be referred for a place. It would be so amazing to be able to contribute to this to help other people who are in the same situation as I was benefit from this incredible team of people and the help that they give.

Thank you so much!

PS The photo is a practice run in Kent!

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity.

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