I had a major proud mammy moment this week as my little legend, Heidi, joined me on stage to warm up the wonderful crowd at the Sunderland Race For Life 10k and 5k.
I wish I’d had as much confidence when I was 5 years old as she does. She stood in front of 3,000 people without a care in the world, doing all her exercises and stretches and enjoyed every minute of it.
I also have to say a special thank you to everyone in the crowd who encouraged her with their cheers for her and of course the collective ‘ahhhhh’ as she stepped onto the stage.
I’ve been involved with the Race For Life events in the north east for eight years now, both in warming up the crowd and taking part in the races which you can chose to walk, jog or run, and on Sunday I was asked why I got involved in the first place.
I remember, eight years ago, receiving a call from a lovely lady from the charity who had been given my number by someone who had recommended me as a fitness instructor who could possibly do a canny job of delivering a five to ten minute warm up to the event participants.
At the time, at the age of 21/22 years old, my reason for getting involved was based solely on the idea that the event would be fun and it would be a great opportunity. But now, with every year that has passed since, the event has a whole new meaning to me.
Now I not only get involved because the event is excellent and the atmosphere is amazing, but because cancer has had the cheek to invade the lives of people close to me.
Cancer has taken my Grandma, it’s taken good people who were truly loved and left me broken hearted.
Last year cancer tried to take a really great friend of mine, but he fought back and just two months ago got the all clear.
As the stats tell us, more people are surviving cancer than ever before, which is fantastic news, and it’s events like the Race For Life, that raise huge amounts of money to fund the development of treatments against this awful disease, that really make a difference.
There are few things as emotive as seeing, when asked by the host at the Sunderland Race For Life how many people had been effected by cancer themselves or had a loved one effected by cancer, literally everyone in the crowd raise their hand.
So, if you’ve ever considered taking part in a Race For Life event but haven’t yet, then stop considering it and just sign up.
You can walk (as me and Heidi did), run or jog. It’s not elitist at all. It’s a whole lot of fun and you will be making a massively positive difference.
The Newcastle, Durham and Gateshead events are still to come this year, so why not get involved, and lets celebrate all the survivors, raise loads of money for a fantastic cause that is really making a difference, and tell cancer to ‘jog on’!