22nd June 2020

Alyson Chadwick

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When Alyson met our chief executive, Paula Chadwick (no relation!), at a Women Leaders Association conference, she was left stunned by the reality of lung cancer. So much so that Alyson is now doing her bit to help, using her experience in strategy and retail on our Trustee board and, most recently, as a fundraiser taking on our virtual half marathon with her eldest son, Luke.

“I remember listening to Paula speak at one of our Women Leaders conferences. I was blown away by the number of lung cancer cases and deaths versus other cancers, and also the scale of non-smoking related cases. I was completely unaware of the magnitude of this disease so, when Paula and I had a conversation about joining the board and becoming a trustee, I was more than happy to accept.

The work Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation does is so important. I think people just don’t have the same level of awareness and understanding of lung cancer as they may do with other forms of the disease – like I didn’t.

But they need to be and I’m proud to be supporting the ongoing sustainability of the charity – whether that’s through playing an active role as a trustee or supporting events – so it can do what it does best: promote awareness, fund research into early detection and support for those living with lung cancer.

This is my primary motivation for taking on the I love the 90s virtual run. With so many events unable to take place, I wanted to do my bit to raise some much-needed funds.

I was a student in the early nineties and the Spotify playlist really took me back! I remember Rhythm is a Dancer playing all summer in the bar in the holiday camp where I worked

Alyson loved our I love the 90s virtual run

I’ve also been trying to be more active during lockdown, and encourage my eldest son, Luke, to do the same. The virtual run gave us a target, a purpose. After all, it’s very easy to put it off and say you’ll go for a run another day!

I am not really a runner but decided if I was going to get sponsored, I needed to challenge myself and so we opted to run a half marathon in one week.

It’s been nice to have something to share with Luke. He decided he wanted to do the runs during his exam week, and it’s been great to see him commit and do the runs every day to support the charity and raise money, even though he doesn’t really enjoy running that often. My youngest, Rosie, has been using lockdown to increase her cycling confidence, so she’s come along on some of the runs too on her bike.

Our dog, Dougal, is also part of the team and has come on every run with us, although he loves big sticks (4ft minimum!) so we had to pay close attention so we didn’t trip or get knocked over as he ran past!

I’ve really enjoyed the 90s theme too. I was a student in the early nineties and the Spotify playlist really took me back! I remember Rhythm is a Dancer playing all summer in the bar in the holiday camp where I worked, 3 Lions and the Euros in the summer of 96, and staying up all night at friends watching the results of the 97 election with Things Can Only Get Better playing all the time!

We’ve completed the challenge now, finishing with a double run in a day and rewarding ourselves with a takeaway afterwards! It’s been great having a focus in lockdown and knowing we have helped people who are enduring a much harder time than we are right now. The only question now is whether we take on the 80s virtual run. Now where are my leg warmers…?!”

Click here to make a donation to Alyson and Luke’s JustGiving page.