This post is very different for me, I usually write about what has been happening in the business but today this is about me and my family.
In February 2008 I was 7 months pregnant with Isla and Heather was 17 months old one afternoon my Mum came for a visit and we took a walk into town. On the way back she told me she had found a lump on her breast and had made an appointment to see her doctor.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and having seen her GP she was referred to a clinic at the hospital. I can’t for the life of me remember what the date was but I know it was a Tuesday and her appointment was mid morning so by mid afternoon while Heather was sleeping and I was sat looking out of the window willing Mum and Dad to come home with good news I realised that probably wasn’t going to happen.
It was about 6pm and I was just clearing away the dinner dishes when they walked into the house and I knew straight away that it wasnt good news. Mum had breast cancer! After a lot of tears and cuddles, phone calls and more tears we got the details. Most importantly it was treatable, she would need a lumpectomy then a course of radio therapy. Mum got her schedule for treatment and it meant her going to Edinburgh for 5 weeks for the radiotherapy right at the time I was due to have Isla, selfishly my first thought was what would I do if I went into Labour when mum was away!
But Isla has always been an obliging wee soul and she arrived at 0715 on Sunday 20th April, so Mum got to see her while home for the weekend. We even managed a trip to visit her in Edinburgh although a train journey with an active 19 month old and a 4 week old is a very daunting experience!!
Fast forward again to 2012 it has been 4 years now since the diagnosis and Mum is fine, now onto annual check ups (me touching wood being the superstitious person I am!) and we are preparing for our second Relay for Life for Cancer Research at Park Farm, Dumfries.
Relay For Life is a 24-hour event which invites teams of friends, family and work colleagues to team up to beat cancer. Teams of approximately 8 – 15 members take up the challenge to have one team member on the track at all times over the course of the 24-hours. Starting at 11am on the morning of Saturday 30th June 2012 the opening lap is led by our special guests of honour, cancer Survivors and Care Givers as we celebrate life and give thanks for the progress so far which means that more and more people are surviving cancer.
The teams then take to the track whilst other team members set up fundraising stalls and activities, themed laps begin on track and live bands and solo artists take to the stage. At 11pm the Relay draws briefly to a halt for the Candle of Hope Ceremony – the most poignant part of Relay For Life. Candle bags, decorated and dedicated with messages of hope, celebration and remembrance are placed around the track and a tea light lit inside them. These bags shine throughout the night, guiding the way as we walk and signifying that cancer never sleeps and neither will we until we find a cure. Overnight the entertainment on and off the track continues as the team members walk whilst others take the opportunity to rest in their tents or caravans pitched at Park Farm.
At 11am on Sunday morning, the teams, survivors, volunteers and supporters join together for the closing lap after which the total raised through this year’s Relay For Life will be announced.
Cancer Research UK are the world’s leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research and I am grateful for the developments they have made in treating Cancer. Since 2008, Relay teams in Dumfries and Galloway have raised more than £232,000 and this year we hope to help increase that total to more than one quarter of a millon.
So please put Saturday 30th June 2012 into your diary, if you would like to enter a team this link will give you all the details Relay For Life, Park Farm, Dumfries or if you would prefer just to join us on the day for some family entertainment, it really is an amazing experience!
I have written slightly more than I would normally so thank you very much for taking the time to read this and feel free to comment.