How are we going to do this?

SO, how are we going to do this?

I’ve set myself the target of raising £1 Million for Cancer Research UK.  A huge target I admit.  I have been involved in charity fundraising, it has usually been fairly successful as well.   But, I have NEVER taken on a project as large as this.  Before I answer the question of how, I should maybe discuss why.

Why?  My family have fought Cancer a number of times over the years and to be quite honest I am fed up seeing them suffering.   Battling through surgery after surgery, session after session of chemotherapy and seemingly never ending sessions of radiotherapy.  It simply sucks.  You feel helpless, unable to do anything to help get rid of it.  I mean you can make a proper good cup of tea, talk with them when they need a shoulder to lean on and make sure they are receiving all the vital nutrients their bodies need.  Despite how determined you are to help make them better, it always feels like you are extremely limited.  It’s such a horrible position to be in.  When you see family members and friends continually suffering all because of the same disease it all becomes quite tiresome.

Cancer is pretty widespread amongst my family but it hit me hardest when my mum was diagnosed for the second time in three years.  In 2013 she was diagnosed with Breast cancer. She needed the whole shooting match; surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but came out the the other side just as positive as ever.  In May 2016 she phoned from work in tears to tell me that she had been diagnosed with Endometrial Cancer.  To be honest, this news hit me far harder than the first time.  I had time to come to terms with the fact that she might have had cancer the first time (while all the tests were ongoing) and to be honest I think I dealt with it fairly well.  I think the more recent diagnosis hit me harder, because I didn’t have any time to prepare myself for the news.  I knew my mum was undergoing tests in line with her regular check up schedule but a diagnosis of Cancer wasn’t something I thought I would hear.  I guess I had convinced myself that she had fought and won her battle and that was her in the clear.  A Thursday morning, I had just returned home from nightshift and was away to jump into the shower when mum phoned from work in tears and told me of the diagnosis.  Mum knows I’d rather just be told upfront about things like this, it allows me to process the picture much better if I have all the information to hand.  I don’t see the point in skirting around the subject, in the end it doesn’t make it go away.  Needless to say, her boss told her to head home and take some time to process everything, something which I am very glad happened.  It gave the two of us the time to sit and discuss everything properly.  It frustrates me when people bad mouth the NHS.  I can’t say anything but the highest of praise for everyone in the NHS we have ever dealt with.  Thankfully, surgery solved the problem on its own this time and approximately 6 or 7 weeks after being diagnosed mum was cleared of the Cancer and back in remission.  To top this all off there are 2 other members of my family who are suffering from the disease…

I suppose that’s why I am doing this, to prevent people having to suffer from the disease and prevent families and friends from having to watch those who they care about suffering because of this disease.  I also want to prove to anyone who is suffering from Cancer and their friends and families that you can achieve anything with a positive attitude.  While I have never fought Cancer myself, I do know what it takes.

How then?  Well I intend to cycle, run and climb in order to raise this money and fund the vital research that is being conducted.  Living in Scotland I am extremely lucky to have 282 mountains that are over 3000ft (Munros to locals) in height.  It is my intention to climb a minimum of 4 per month.  As challenging as some Munros are they will serve another purpose; training for climbing the worlds tallest free standing mountain – Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa.  At 5895M or 19341ft it will be a major challenge, but one I am looking forward to!  Another mountainous challenge I am hoping to complete is the 3 peaks.  The 3 peaks involves climbing the highest peaks in Scotland (BenNevis), England (Scafell Pike) and Wales (Snowdon) in under 24 hours.  Running half marathons and marathons are also on the agenda and I will sign up to these as they become available.  In terms of my cycling challenges I have a few planned.  The first will be cycling the North Coast 500 (Scotlands answer to Route 66).  This is a 500 mile loop around the north of the country that starts and ends in Inverness.  Progressing from here it is my intention to cycle the length of the UK from John O’Groats to Lands End covering approximately 1000miles.

So, there’s lots planned for the coming months and 2017, but I am excited and positive.  I know that in time we will get there.  I only need 1 million people to donate £1 and how hard can that be?

Donating is quick and easy, you just need to follow this link.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/JED-SMITH1

Every single pound donated WILL make a difference and help fund the research that will in time eradicate this disease.

“For success, attitude is equally as important as ability” – Sir Walter Scott

J.

 

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