For quite some time now, I have gotten a bizarre yet very specific kick out of setting myself personal challenges that charities can benefit from. I like the challenges that make people’s faces screw up when you tell them what you are doing – challenges that on the surface seem impossible or at least incredibly daunting for those who do not get their kicks from such things (normal people, you may say!)
Last year I wanted to go beyond clapping on my doorstep once a week to show my appreciation for the NHS and challenged myself to run, walk or cycle 400 kilometres during May. I completed the challenge and raised just shy of £700 for ‘All NHS Charities together’. I was over the moon with the level of support and generosity I received, but I did feel that I set the bar a little too low for the challenge. I wanted to get 500 km but played it safe at the last minute!
This year I really wanted to push myself, so committed to the 500 km without a plan as to how I would get there. I may have bitten off more than I can chew, but I will make the 500 kilometres by hook or by crook. At the point of writing, I am at 360 km with less than a week to go. The final few days will undoubtedly be interesting!
I am partnering with the Brown Dog Cancer Charity again, following on from my 2019 challenge. We walked 40 miles across the stunning Cornwall coastal path in a single 24-hour period, walking through the night with no sleep to complete the challenge. I’ve got some incredible memories from the challenge, alongside some gruesome scars in places no one needs to know about!!!
Brown Dog are a fantastic group of people, lead by Mark Storer. In 1999, Mark was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which spread to his lungs and lymph nodes, and would require extensive chemotherapy over a 6-month period if he were to stand a chance of surviving. Thankfully, Mark responded well, and a year after his chemo, he was in the clear. Mark is one of the lucky ones. Knowing this, he decided to start Brown Dog to help local hospitals with funding for the equipment they so desperately need.
Whilst I am all for helping charities large and small, with larger charities, it can sometimes feel like your money and efforts go into the abyss. You know that the money will help a much larger cause, but you cannot be specific.
This year the money raised from my May 500 challenge will go towards purchasing a stem cell machine for the Leicester Royal Infirmary. There is something special about knowing that the money I am helping to raise will go directly to a Leicestershire hospital, to purchase a specific piece of kit to help people in the local area.
On that note, I need to run 10km today if I am going to stay remotely close to my schedule, so…see you soon!
Wish me luck!