Just three months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour, my mum, Beth Harrison, died earlier this year. Though those months were horribly difficult for her, Mum faced her illness with tremendous courage and, as always, never stopped thinking of others.
Just one example of this was her request that I run a marathon to raise money for charity. Quite honestly, I'm not convinced she entirely understood how far 26 miles is!
"That's like running from Aberdeen to Insch, Mum," I explained.
"Yup. That's fine. Do that," she replied breezily.
And so that's what I'm going to be doing: running all 26.2 miles of the the Loch Ness marathon on 2nd October, 2011. Gulp.
The charity I'm raising money for is Cancer Research UK. Again, this was chosen by Mum. She selected this charity on the advice of the wonderful community nurses who cared for her in her final weeks. More research could result in reduced cancer rates, earlier diagnosis, improved treatments, increased comfort for terminal patients and more people making a full and lasting recovery.
I'm very proud to be supporting Cancer Research UK and am going to do my very best to reach my target amount. If you are at all able to contribute, all donations will be sincerely and greatly appreciated.