Yes I know the title is corny but last Sunday I thought I would actually burst with pride when I saw my husband run the around the final bend of the Ipswich Half Marathon. He put on a final sprint over the finish line to make a time of 1:48.
This challenge was set in the hyper enthusiastic aftermath of the spectacular Imagine It's Team success at the Race for Life in May. His challenge became to run three half marathons in three consecutive months and this was the first. The second will be the Great Eastern Run in Peterborough and the third the Norwich Half in November where we hope that more Imagine It supporters will compete also.
After the Race for Life it became apparent to the two of us that the efforts seen by the team where lost in the commercialism of the event which supports Cancer Research UK. No doubt for one the second the charity does great things for the British public's awareness of cancer but it also focuses on the big names. I have talked to many people affected by cancer from the doctors through to survivors and something that comes up again and again is the still huge enigma of the range of disease that the word 'cancer' actually covers. There is always that look of disbelief when I explain my condition, how agressive it is and how no... there isn't anything that works and more to the point nor shall there be for a very long time because not a single penny is spent on research by charities like CRUK. I have actually contacted them numerous times and never so much as received a reply.
Now I believe in helping the greater good but I also know how keenly it is felt when you are not one of the counted, when you are helpless collateral damage. However before I get carried away down that line, there are centres in other countries looking into rare cancers; doing genetic research on triggers and looking for new treatments. The one I know most about run by a DR Gary Hammer at the University of Michigan USA and an American organisation called 'A Hart's desire for a Cure for ACC' is raising money for the project.
Details for both these can be found on the links below and I beg you to take a little time to read.
My husband's marathon challenge is about raising money for this project; we want to do our bit. It is hugely unlikely that I personally will ever see any outcome for the work we put in in my medical care but I would like to think that someday a person like me will not go through this. They won't sit in a hospital ward after major surgery, after throwing up anything they try to keep down and cry with their family because the doctors have just confirmed that the tumour was malignant and had cells in the blood vessels so its chemotherapy, infertility, and a average survival time of two years.
They will sit down with their doctor and be told a game plan, a cure and they will get to have their full life. Their career plan, their family plan, their dream car, their pension... whatever it is they were dreaming of until disease stole it.