I have been walking around my head a little bit this evening. Having a ‘cancery’ attack. Feeling at once sad and happy – cross and so very, very grateful. But sad. People have asked me why I am doing yet another one of these fund raising cycles. Why? Ah…million dollar question. Firstly, why the hell not? It raises money to save lives. It forces me to get fitter [well, the FH forces me actually]. I am NOT a cyclist really. I struggle. But it’s worth it! People who have had cancer really need to try and be fit.
And. The funds go to research. For ovarian, breast and cervical cancers. Of course, the most important one to me is ovarian, not only because I had it, but because cervical and breast cancer are pretty much out there. Women KNOW about the symptoms, thanks to the massive efforts of the breast cancer girls, and certainly Jade Goody brought cervical cancer to the forefront during her battle with it. Plus there are tried and tested tests for both. NOT so for ovarian cancer.
So. Ovarian cancer? We are still struggling to get women to know the symptoms, and the treatment today is as near as damn it the same as what it was 30 years ago. Incredibly.
Another reason is the death of so many friends – killed by ovarian cancer – because we don’t know enough. We don’t know how to save them. Diane Davis Waller, Gaynor Hall, sweet Jayne Armstrong – Tammy Woodward, BJ Gallagher, Patty Higgins, Thelma Hugget, Kelly Godfrey, Jo McGowan…on and on…they live in me, but I have Survivors Guilt – a ridiculous thing! I KNOW all of them are jumping for joy for me, that I am still here to bitch and moan and laugh and cry – but still. I miss them, I miss the hilarious conversations we had, the laughs. The cries. They were my friends. So it breaks my heart that they are gone. And yes, I feel guilty that I am still alive – hence, I feel I need to pay back for that blessing.
So I do the ride for them too. And for the women I know who are still struggling with treatment – long days of chemo, terrifying phone calls about bad results…different treatments for recurrence. Hateful. I need to do something for them.
And no, it’s not a ‘jolly’. It’s HARD. We spend over a year begging for money. We train – which is difficult to fit into busy lives. We all have jobs, kids, husbands etc. THEY are the support team. Thanks to them, we can do this.
And we cycle up bloody mountains! But the camaraderie of the other women gets us up them – the whole thing is an incredibly emotional experience. It brings one to tears when someone that you know that can’t afford it, puts five pounds into the pot. The messages on my justgiving page almost always make me cry. People are incredibly generous and kind.
So, Sceptics – I am doing this cycle because I want to. Because I want to honour my friends. Because I NEED to give something back. Because I can. And some of my friends can’t. So I’m cycling for them.
If you go to Costa for a coffee and cake, it could cost you almost £6.00 – could you have one at home, and simply donate the fiver to this amazing cause? Just once. Miss Costa for a day…it’d mean a lot! Costa don’t actually need the money – we do.
Thanks. Very much.
Please donate here if you can?