Each year we look to do a team challenge or before there was a team I felt it was important to do a challenge myself for the charity. So far I have climbed Machu Picchu, taken part in the 5k Colour Run and swam a mile in the serpentine. All of these have been great fun if somewhat exhausting and often there's been a lot of OMG what am I doing! But it's all been really worthwhile and my friends and family have always very generously supported me. Doing just one thing a year is about right - you feel bad about always asking your friends for money but if it's just once a year I think that's fine.
So friends, colleagues and family - this is time - dig deep and help me raise money for Yes to Life.
This year I would like to raise money to help with the launch of our new localised support groups - we are calling them Wigwam and the reason we are launching this year is because we have been out there asking people what they want from us and we ran a survey - the results of which clearly demonstrated that this was something they needed.
Cancer can be a very isolating place, even when you have family and friends and particularly if you are choosing to take an integrative approach - thats doing some things to empower yourself to get well like looking at what you eat, how to support your immune system so it can be the best it can be prior to embarking on chemotherapy, radiotherpy, surgery or taking drugs, during treatment and definitely after treatment. People feel they are put under enormous pressure from family and friends when wanting to do these extra things mostly because people just don't understand how important they are - the GP and the consultant oncologist are not advising them to do it so why should they. Well that's because all the evidence shows is that those who do, have less side effects, recover more quickly and if they continue post treatment, lessen the chance of it coming back. So the support groups will give them a safe and supported space to talk freely about what they are doing without any judgment at all - they will hopefully make a friendship group and feel less isolated and will learn things along the way.
So that's the long and short of it - any money donated to me will be going towards setting up these groups across the UK.
Here's to clambering over the Chilterns in September and smiling knowing people I love are helping me get there.