Kate’s Walk Together event in support of her mum
Friday 7 August 2020
Kate Calder is organising a Walk Together event this September in support of her mum who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2009. She has already raised an incredible £1,300! She says:
I was 28 when my mum was first diagnosed with bowel cancer, specifically colon cancer. The whole family was together for a two week summer holiday at a cottage on a lake in Canada. It was perfect. Both my sister and I live far away from my parents, which none of us understand as we are extremely close and genuinely enjoy each other's company. I blame my parents for sharing their love of travel and adventure with us, oh and overseas boyfriends.
That summer I had just finished culinary school and was about to embark on a new and exciting career path. The first week of the holiday was perfect. It had been my mum's 60th birthday and I had cooked a feast which my mum loved. The next day she said she had recently had some tests done at the hospital because she hadn't been feeling well. She told us she was driving back to the city for a meeting with her doctor and that she and dad would be back that evening. I thought nothing of it as my mum has always been a beacon of strength for us, never vulnerable, never weak. When she returned I immediately knew something was wrong.
Mum and dad sat me, my sister and my boyfriend down and told us she had just been diagnosed with cancer. It was devastating and she was devastated. Despite being a very positive person, she's also a realist. She's a physiotherapist from a family of doctors and isn't naive when it comes to medical terminology. From the start she said we'll just have to judge it day by day. Needless to say, the holiday took a turn for the worse. She was very open with friends and family and began calling everyone with her news. So many rallied round and offered immediate help and everyone was so kind.
I stopped sleeping. I remember that first night so well. Heart thumping in my ears, sweating, the word cancer repeating itself over and over with images of my mum playing like a never ending movie. It was horrible. She told us she had very few symptoms, only diarrhoea and not being able to digest certain food. She told us she had to push to get a colonoscopy, and is so thankful she did. She had surgery the next month and her consultant believed he had got everything. I helped my dad bring her home from the hospital and stayed for a month to nurse her back to health. The next year the symptoms started up again. This time she didn't need to push to get a colonoscopy, she was seen right away and sadly, as she expected, the cancer was back and this time it had spread. Her consultant felt awful for her, he was very kind and made her feel as though she was his favourite patient and assured her she would get the best treatment available.
This time she had surgery where they removed all but a few inches of her colon and then followed it up with months of chemotherapy because the cancer had spread. This was in 2009. I am relieved to say my mum is still with us today. She came to my wedding in 2010 and has been able to play with her grandkids, Sonny and Bo.
This year, I'm taking part in Walk Together to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK to give publicity to the disease so more people are aware of what bowel cancer is, what it looks like and what the symptoms are. Bowel Cancer UK is an amazing charity that helps so many people and their families. The work they do is important and genuinely affects those that have been diagnosed. I have raised over £1,300 already which is incredible. The money raised will directly help patients and their families, as when a loved one is facing cancer they need all the support they can get.
Walk Together this June
Walk Together is a sponsored five mile walk to show our support for those undergoing treatment, to remember loved ones and help stop people dying of bowel cancer.
On Saturday 12 June 2021 we're asking you to join us and walk five miles in your own time, at your own pace, in your local area, with your household or within small socially distanced groups. By walking on this date we will be together, across the country, completing our five miles on the same day.
However, if you can't make this date then you can still walk anytime throughout June to suit you.