Just an update on my London Marathon Blog. I’m running the race to raise money for AICR and taking advantage of the site to promote it. Admin privileges.
I run on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings at 6:00 am and on Sunday mornings at 7:00 am or 8:00 am. Running is my sanity and I have been getting up at these ridiculous hours for the past 7 years and dragging a few other friends along for the ride. We start and end at a coffee shop and the morning coffee is always required after the run. On Sunday we have the extended group with about 15 to 20 other nutty people that show up for the required long run. Some of them run with us, some just meet up at the end for the hour or so conversation and coffee. (Did I mention that coffee was a requirement yet?)
Getting up before the crack of dawn means that you don’t have your “face the world” mask on yet. It also means that that conversation can get personal and that you help each other with your problems. For the past few years one of the most frequent topics of conversation has been cancer. Each one of us has been hit hard with cancer and we have helped each other through the sickness and lost of our friends and family.
Kim was my running instructor seven years ago. She got me through my first 5 km run and helped me through the critical 6 months to start my running habit. She joined our crazy group of morning runners a few years ago. She is our drill sergeant, time-keeper and the person who I’m relying on to help me get through the next 5 months of training. In short, Kim is brilliant. Kim and her husband were very close to Charlie and his wife. They were married at the same time and the two couples went on their honeymoons together. Charlie was diagnosed with brain cancer caused by undetected skin cancer last year. Kim went through the pain and grief of supporting a dear friend and his family as he lost his battle to cancer earlier this year. Charlie was in his mid forties and left behind a wife and three children. Kim and her husband are still grieving the loss of a dear friend.
Phil is our rock and our steady pace. He has been part of the running group since it started. He listens to all my complaints from work, helps me balance my thoughts and generally is my sounding board for all my problems. Phil’s mother is a spitfire. She fought and is currently in remission from breast cancer. His aunt wasn’t as lucky. She lost her battle to leukemia last year. But that isn’t the end of it. This past month, a close friend of Phil’s, and his father-in-law, have both been diagnosed with inoperable cancers – pancreatic and liver cancer. We expect doing a lot of listening this next year for Phil.
Darlene and Caroline are part of our run with the only-on-Sunday crew. Darlene is a brilliant woman who never seems bothered or stressed, constantly interested in fundraising runs for charities she supports. She is certainly one of the most capable people I’ve met. Caroline is new to me, but I really enjoy talking to her. In both her job and her attitude she constantly fights for what she believes in. I love the debates that she sparks in the group.
Both Darlene and Caroline have lost people this year to cancer. Darlene lost her brother-in-law this spring. He was fifty years old and had a short and painful battle with Colon cancer. It took his life only 3 months after the initial diagnosis. It was a surprise and a shock to the family and especially painful for his widow and two young children. His wife had just finished treatment for mouth cancer at the time of his diagnosis. Caroline lost a close friend in his thirties again to leukemia. It only came up when we started discussing my run next year what I was running for.
In Sunday coffee after the long run, several different running groups meet up and the topic invariable goes to cancer. We just have had too many of the extended group affected. Margaret, a brilliant lady who can outrun most people half her age, has now fought back three bouts of cancer. Breast cancer twice and uterine (ovarian) cancer this last year. She has run throughout and keeps up the fight. Barry has lost important family members and is the most brilliant of fundraisers. He is always working to raise money for cancer research. There are many others but I tend to get their stories confused. But needless to say too many of us have lost too much to cancer.
The one topic I have avoided is my own motivation. It is one thing to write about others but is it hard write a blog about yourself, especially if you keep such things to yourself. My family has fought cancer several times and generally lost. My favourite aunt is currently in remission for laryngeal cancer. She lost her voice box and her ability to travel around the world. My Gran had a small bout with skin cancer but eventually lost her battle with stomach cancer. My great aunt died from pancreatic cancer. And there are several others who I was not close to who have also lost the fight. As for me, I have had three “probable” screenings for breast cancer in the last 10 years. None of them positive but still it does affect you. In most of the cases, it is the detection or the lack of detection that have resulted in too many early deaths.
There are a lot of cancer research charities out there. I have given money to many of them in the past but the AICR has impressed me the most. And that isn’t because I run a David Tennant fan site. I will admit I would probably not have heard of AICR without Mr. Tennant’s involvement, but it’s how AICR operates that determines my own support of the AICR. How AICR uses its money aligns with my own thoughts and ideas. I read facts and figures. I check out financial reports to see where the money goes and how it is well it is used.
AICR has lower administration costs compared to other cancer research charities that I have support in the past but realistically it is how it supports cancer research that attracts me the most. Unlike most charities, the AICR does not limit its support to research within the UK. Currently they are supporting 197 active projects (80 in the UK and 117 outside of the UK) in 21 different countries. The overall money AICR has spent on cancer research to date is £146,408,757 on 1812 projects throughout 32 different countries. (Data From the http://www.aicr.org.uk website.)
AICR is the charity of choice for the DT Forum – the David Tennant fan site I run. The AICR is also one of my own charities of choice and receives my contributions to cancer research. And finally it is my privilege to run the London Marathon to raise money for the AICR.
Delenn – Head Admin – DT Forum
Current total £310.00