This adventure is not just about me and wanting to inspire other ladies, it is about other people about raising money for a number of charities close to me and the ladies I am rowing with. Many of us have been touched by cancer. My uncle “Ian” who shared my sense of humour died of cancer in his early forties. I know he would have thought me completely nuts to be going on an adventure like this on the other hand if he could have done something like this in his shortened life he would have had a go. My mum “Mary” is a cancer survivor and has been cancer free for fifteen years now. When we were told about her mouth and throat cancer we all thought we had little precious time left to spend with her, I remember how devastating that was. My best friend Jackie who I have known since I was 10 years old is a cancer survivor, we thought we would lose her to the disease, but she fought back and has now been cancer free for 5 years. One of our chosen charities is Maggie’s Cancer Centres, Maggie’s is about empowering people to live with, through and beyond cancer by bringing together professional help, communities of support and providing a setting where anyone affected by cancer can go and is welcomed. We are hoping to raise money that will go towards supporting the building of a Maggie’s centre in Leeds in Yorkshire and also towards the other already existing centres in the UK and overseas. We are also hoping to raise funds for two other charities Action for Kids and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Six years ago, my dad was a healthy and fit man decorating my sitting room (not very well I might add) but he was having a go. Within 7 months he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and the whole family lived through a rollercoaster of emotions but always knowing it would always get a little bit worse and the outcome would be devastating. Christmas day that year was spent eating turkey sandwiches by his bed side and two days later he died. The support the family received during this time was hit and miss and a bit disjointed. This had an impact on the stress levels we all experienced during those horrendous 7 months.
I have a real urge to do something of value that will make a difference to peoples’ lives. As I work full time, I do not have the luxury of being able to give my time to various charities, so this way it will be an intense two years planning and organising and a doubly intense 2 months with no sleep and rowing continuously on an ocean that really scares me– but this challenge will have a huge impact. Maggie’s charity is about empowerment. This row to me is about empowerment – showing that ordinary working women can achieve extraordinary things with hard work and determination.
We had planned to paper over the wall paper dad had put up, but then he became ill and died so we didn’t have the heart to change it for many years . Every time we looked at those bad joins it reminded us of the legacy he left us of being courageous, brave and a fighter. Boy I hope I take after him when I am faced with that unpredictable vicious Atlantic ocean