In the middle of my A-levels, my life was turned upside down by my Dad being diagnosed with a stage 4 brain tumour. Following emergency surgery, Dad underwent intensive chemo and radiotherapy. Dad loved life to bits and fought on for 2 years following his diagnosis, and twice outlived his expected prognosis.
In the middle of the nightmare, whilst Dad was in a care-home, my mum - Annie - got diagnosed with breast cancer. Cancer had already attempted to destroy half of my family life, and now I saw it trying to fuck up the other half. Annie underwent surgery, and thankfully had the tumours completely removed.
Cancer is a strange thing. I’ve seen people I’ve looked up to my entire life suddenly in positions that are completely out of their control.
The man who taught me everything I know about people, love and making the most out of life, I ended up having to feed with a spoon. I saw my successful, organised and ridiculously intelligent mum grappling with her own mortality.
It is both an awful, degenerative and depressing disease but also a strange reminder of the many things none of us can control.
This is why Cancer Research funding is important, and fundamentally important to me.
When I was 18, despite him still going on to live for another 2 years, I already knew my Dad was going to die because there are no known ‘cures’ to a glioblastoma.
And if it wasn’t for the amount of money and research that had already gone into stopping cancer, I could have lost my mum too.
I’m running my first half marathon, about a year after Annie was diagnosed and 9 months after my Dad passed away, and will be running as fast as I can for both of them (aiming to do it in sub 1:40). If me not running it isn’t that impressive, just remember Annie herself is running it too, a year after her diagnosis the fucking legend. PLEASE give all you can.
Cancer is an awful disease, so let's do some good.