“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
– Theodore Roosevelt –
In the summer of 2010, my family were dealt a cruel blow with the news that my 34 year old cousin, John, was ill. John’s health hadn’t been the best for a while but it took a long time for the doctors to finally figure out what was wrong with him. I remember vividly my mum calling me to let me know they finally had a diagnosis. It was cancer. A rare form of leukaemia.
The type of blood cancer that John had was rare, so rare in fact that they did not have a huge amount of research evidence linked to it, making the battle ahead appear greater and more challenging. He fought with bravery and determination with the help of his doctors and the support of his family against this evil disease whose hold was all too strong. On the morning of 25th October 2010, John died in hospital with his wife, Amanda, at his side. My family’s heart collectively broke and we felt the balance of our world shift noticeably and irreversibly as we tried to come to terms with this loss.
This cruel disease does not discriminate. Every 15 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer. There are over 100 different types of blood cancer, and anyone of any age, from a new-born baby to a grandparent, can be diagnosed. John was at the beginning of his adventure with his wife of just two years when he was diagnosed. A life together cut short. Days that should have been and never were.
John has inspired me. That same quiet determination with which he faced everything in life, and the way he found joy in the beautiful, simple moments, the dignity with which he faced the challenges that life threw at him, and his infectious laugh and wicked sense of humour – I want to honour his memory.
On October 6th 2013, three years to the month that we lost John, I will be running the Great Scottish Run 10k in memory of John and to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
It is my hope that, through fundraising for this incredible charity, it can go further in finding causes, improving early and accurate diagnosis, and developing safer and more effective treatments for blood cancer patients. Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research is the only UK charity dedicated to finding better treatments and cures for all blood cancers.Funds raised for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research are helping make real progress in research to save more lives, and reach a place where every blood cancer patient can go on to live a full life, without fear of relapse.
As I train for this challenge, I’ll be sure to update here. Please share if you can, and if you would like to support this challenge, please click on the Just Giving link on the right of this page, or click right here!