I run like a girl…try to keep up


In June 2011 I took part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life 5km event with my mum. As we wandered round the beautiful course we talked about entering the event in 2012 and perhaps upping the distance to 10km. I had a more ambitious target, I wanted to run a half marathon. Not just any half marathon, I wanted to take part in the Great North Run. For years I had watched the event on TV and been inspired by the runners and their stories. I turned 30 at the beginning of 2012 and it seemed like an excellent goal to kick off a new decade. Despite not being a runner my mum was sure I would be able to complete the course and told me she would be there cheering me on.

I entered the GNR ballot in 2012 and was unsuccessful. I wasn’t too disappointed, I had entered the Race for Life again and with a group of work colleagues trained to run the whole 5km course. Mum had decided that running might be a bit too ambitious for her so was going to be there as a cheerleader.

On 5th June 2012 life changed forever. A simple diagnostic test revealed my mum had an oesophageal tumour. On 15th June we were told the diagnosis was terminal and any treatment would be palliative. Despite the dire prognosis my mum came to cheer me on at the Race for Life just 48 hours later. On an exceptionally emotional and rainy day my team of six completed the race in good time and raised over £1000 for Cancer Research.Read More »

Before and After


Monday 4th June 2012, an entirely forgettable day. The country was in the grip of Golden Jubilee fever but I was at work and ridiculously busy. I don’t remember what I wore, what I ate, if I did anything after work. It was just Monday.

Why am I fixated on this date? Because it was the Day Before. The day before life changed forever. On Tuesday 5th June my mum was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. Within 10 days we would find out the cancer was terminal.

What do I remember about 5th June? Everything. I remember the perfume I was wearing, the songs I heard on the radio at work, the facial expression of the consultant when he asked to speak to my mum after her endoscopy, I remember the kind of sandwich my dad was eating in the waiting room while my mum heard the news. It’s almost like until that day I was in darkness and on that Tuesday morning someone switched the light on. I could see everything with the most amazing clarity.Read More »