Such a great cause.
Such a great idea.
This is great!
Here’s a sad story … with a happy ending.
I had a best friend. A friend since childhood. I’ve known her all my life. It was the kind of friendship that even if you don’t talk for months (because life can be pretty hectic), you are always there for each other. Always!!! She got married and had a little boy. Despite her busy family life, we always managed to spend time together. I later moved abroad but we still managed to remain close. And we knew nothing could change that.
Well... almost nothing. The Big C (cancer) can change a lot of things.
When I found out that Rita was sick, it was very difficult for me. (I can’t imagine what it must have been like for her). She had just been to visit me a few months earlier. There no signs of anything wrong. We had crap weather (England as usual). It was the worst day ever. But despite the wind and the rain we had an amazing time. I will never forget that day.
We went to see the sea. It was cold, windy and grey, the kind of day you don’t even want to get out of bed. The rain drops felt like sharp glass shards against our skin. But we stuck with the plan as Rita had never seen the sea. It was her first time on the coast. All ready. Already. We decided we wouldn’t let the weather hold us back.
We had no idea what was ahead of us… I will cherish the memory of that visit. And be forever happy that we had that time together before everything went south.
When she told me (on a Skype call) I didn’t know how to react. Actually I kind of avoided her for two months because I didn’t know how to cope with it. I couldn’t process the enormity of it. How on earth did she get lung cancer when she didn’t even smoke? And why did they not find it earlier? I was so angry... I wanted to shout and cry and scream and shout some more...I don’t know what I wanted really. Answers? For it not to be happening? But it was awful.
She was so positive. She was so strong. And remained so until the end. She fought it for more than two years!! At the end this awful monster was stronger than her. We spoke just a few days before she left us. She was only 37...
Since then, I view life differently. I don’t take it for granted. I live it like everyday is my last. Rita’s passing had a profound effect on me. I miss her terribly but it taught me something. I grab life by the shoes now.
I also grab every occasion to help cancer research. So we can get rid of it for good. You know those adverts you see on television? Let’s beat cancer. Research kills cancer. Cancer we are coming to get you? This is how I feel. I am empowered by this cause. I am not a scientist. I cannot find the cure in a lab. But I can walk. And run. And climb. And raise money for those researchers who can find that cure.
For this latest initiative I raised the bar. I pushed my limits. I decided to do a nocturnal marathon. Yes, really, all 26.2 miles of it, in the dark! As a first-timer, I opted for walking... (Still pretty tough though...when did you last walk 26miles?)
I was hoping to finish within 9 hours. I thought that was reasonable. But really, I had no idea how long it would take. I surprised even myself. I finished 390th out of 16000 people. 7hrs 40min. It felt great (finishing that is).
I did have some low points during the night. Not only thinking about Rita and wishing she was with me. But feeling the pain (and wishing I was fitter). Around half way through, my hip started to hurt. Nothing too serious. Painkillers to the rescue. There were pit stops at every 4-5 miles but I knew if I stopped, wouldn’t be able to get going again. So I powered on. By the last two miles I couldn’t feel my feet. I started to think about how the hell I was going to get home. I was so knackered. I kept giving myself pep talks ‘Such a great cause. Such a great idea. This is great’.
I still struggled with walking a few days after the event. My hip is still playing up and my feet hurt but it was worth every minute of it. Such an uplifting feeling to be part of an event like this. There is so much love in the air. We bond. We share. We cry. We laugh. We’re in it together. We all had lost loved ones and doing this for them gives us incredible strength and dedication. The energy levels were sky high.
And the great thing? I have raised more than £300 for Cancer Research, thanks to my wonderful friends and colleagues.
This feels great.
And anyone can do it. Amazing.
What can I say, It has been emotional..
By Timea, Night Crawler.