Why do one Ultra Challenge when you can do seven?
Written by Michelle Dyer
So in September 2017 I found myself sat reflecting on the year and realising I hadn’t done much exercise and felt pretty disappointed in myself after quite an active 2016. I started to have a look for a challenge to sign up for; something that might kick start or motivate me into action. I suddenly found myself looking at the Action Challenge website and saw that there was a walk around the Isle of Wight, with the challenge date set for May 2018: now that was significant!
May 2018 is the 10th anniversary of losing my Mum to bowel cancer and I’d seen there was an option to raise money for the charity, if anything was meant to be well this was it! Whenever I’ve done charity walks in the past I’ve always paid a donation myself (not being the sort of person that likes to ask others for donations), so this was going to add to the challenge if I committed.
What happened next is a mystery; I kept looking at the website and saw other challenges that sounded exciting. I wanted to do all 7, I didn’t really know why. Something just kept drawing me to sign up for all 7 there and then. I could achieve one Ultra Challenge but could I achieve all seven? I had wanted a challenge and I kept thinking of Mum and wondered what she’d say.
I lost my Mum to bowel cancer on the 15th May 2008 at the age of 55. Mum had suffered back pain for a number of years and was awaiting a scan and a physio appointment but in April 2008 she suddenly took ill and was admitted to hospital. The ambulance crew thought she was having a panic attack but it transpired she was diagnosed as having a pulmonary embolism. Not long after returning home she was re-admitted to hospital, where after a number of days she was diagnosed as having bowel cancer and secondary liver cancer and the prognosis wasn’t good!
Within 6 weeks of initially being admitted we lost Mum to bowel cancer and secondary liver cancer, as I write this a shiver runs down my back, maybe she’s with me in spirit right now. We had no idea what she was going through but those last few weeks of her life were extremely tough for her.
To say we were devastated was an understatement; how could this disease creep up on her like this? Mum finished her Podiatry Qualifications in 2006 (hence the reference to my feet), and she had hoped to move down to Wiltshire with my dad to set up her own business, something that clearly wasn’t meant to be.
So the journey continues and I am very lucky that fundraising is going well. It’s been hard work but thanks to the generosity of local organisations I managed to get quite a few nice prizes and had a Christmas Day Raffle at work (the tickets were drawn on Christmas Day as I was working). I’ve also raised money through December Dress Down Days at work, a sweepstake, a few cake sales and thanks to a colleague running a Christmas themed quiz night locally. All of these events have really helped me smash the half way point, with £1,525 raised so far! I have been very lucky that I work with very generous people and some very kind friends who have donated.
We all miss Mum and I hope she will be looking down on me this year as I embark on these challenges. It really is good to be raising money for such a fantastic cause. I promise I’ll try to look after my feet Mum and not get to many blisters!
How can you get involved?
Within 6 weeks of initially being admitted we lost Mum to bowel cancer and secondary liver cancer, as I write this a shiver runs down my back, maybe she’s with me in spirit right now.