It’s safe to say, after eight months, we’re all pretty used to virtual fundraising events now. However, after taking part in our Easter virtual run, Stacy decided to take it up a gear and arranged her own – Run for Lungs – in memory of her mum, Eileen.
My mum would have been married to my dad for 50 years on the 28th of this month (November). They loved each other so much, and my mum dying has certainly taken part of my dad away. She was so happy when my partner Ti asked their permission to marry me and she was so excited for my wedding. Shopping for my wedding dress just won’t be the same without her there to share it with me.
Mum was diagnosed with lung cancer on the day of her 63rd birthday in June 2017. She’d had a cough that had lasted for a very long time and she finally gave in and went to the doctors after lots of nagging from Dad and me. They sent her for a scan, and they found a shadow on her lung, and after more scans and tests they told her that it was definitely cancer. The good news was that they thought it was treatable. Mum never complained or moaned and was always so optimistic, she took it all in her stride.
She started chemotherapy, and although the cancer responded well to the treatment, Mum didn’t. They tried surgery, which was unsuccessful, but then radiotherapy worked really well and shrunk the cancer. They said that she then just needed regular scans to check it was still gone. It was at from one of these regular scans that they discovered that some of the lung cancer cells had spread to her liver.
They started her on immunotherapy treatment in February 2018 and it was working really well for a good while, but eventually it wasn’t enough. She agreed to let Dad take her to hospital, just as the country was starting to go into lockdown.
When Dad took her in, they took her off him in the car park, and for the first few days we couldn’t even find out where she was or if she was ok. We knew that she must be quite unwell if she couldn’t use her phone. Then they told us to prepare for the worst, and by the time I saw her again, I knew that my mum was dying. I hated leaving her at night, but because of Covid we only had 10 minutes each.
Two days later with me, my dad and my brother all held her hands, and my mum fell asleep forever. Our last conversation was about my wedding, she was so excited. It was just under three years from her being diagnosed to her passing away.
The funeral was in lockdown, so we could only have 10 of us there, which was so hard when she had so many people that loved her. My dad is lost without his life partner who he has shared his life with since he was 12. My mum was only 66 when she died. No age at all.
I am gutted that she won’t be here for my wedding day. Every girl should be able to share that with her mum. She was my hero. I think that one of my favourite memories is of her every Christmas morning, having another cup of tea and drinking it slowly before we could go in the lounge for our presents. All to prolong our excitement.
In February 2018 I had gastric surgery to help me lose weight. My mum was really supportive. I lost a lot of weight and started the Couch-to-5k. I now run 8-10 miles every other day. I saw the Roy Castle virtual Easter Run earlier this year and thought it looked fun. I signed up and managed to raise around £120 in sponsor money. I then joined the Roy Castle Retro Running Series, but I wasn’t raising a lot of money.
As a member of the Roy’s Runner Facebook group if anyone had any ideas, and one of the other members said that he’d once organised his own virtual race. It seemed like a good idea, so that’s how the Run for Lungs running event was created.
It’s a run that anyone can enter, no matter what their abilities are, with a choice of 5k, 10k and half marathon distances. It doesn’t have to be run, it can be walked, and over a couple of runs or walks if people don’t want to do it in one.
My partner Ti, asked the company he works for, Norse Transport if they would pay for the medals and fortunately they said they would, and then Interprint, offered to print the leaflets and posters free of charge.
Everyone who enters, can run or walk their distance any time between 1st-31st December, and people who sign up will receive a bespoke medal in the post.
I currently have nearly 40 people signed up. I would absolutely love to get up to 100, which is how many medals we have bought to start with. Unfortunately, I do need to take the cost of the liability insurance out of the funds, but if I could get 100 runners, it should still make around £800.
I love the work that Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation does, and I wish that we had known about you sooner. Anything we can do to help and raise money we will do.
For more information on the Run for Lungs virtual run, visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ERs-Run-for-Lungs-2020-102864538254997
and the event at https://fb.me/e/4F5VFJHPv.
Registration costs £10 for the 5k, £11 for the 10k and £12 for the half marathon, and all proceeds go to Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.