When I was little, my father would occasionally produce an (increasingly dog-eared) book called ‘What can I do today’? It was full of ideas in response to that very question. Ever since the last post on this blog, many lovely people have asked pretty much that question – what can I do? You will find an answer if you click on the photo at the bottom of the page.
Jonathan, one of my sons, works for The Christie Charity – a world leading expert in cancer care, research and education, based in Manchester. Just before Mothering Sunday he wrote the post below, and I reproduce it here with his enthusiastic permission. If you would like to help The Christie answer that perennial ‘what can I do’ question in the face of cancer, please click the photo of mother and son below! Thank you.
In my first year of university my world was suddenly spun on its axis as my Mum was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer. She had always had such a strong personality, and had been such a tough individual – that the news really knocked us for six! Since that first diagnosis, her bowel cancer went metastaatic and affected her lungs, her adrenal gland and is now back in her bowel again.
She battled through operation after operation, and numerous rounds of chemotherapy. I remember visiting her in hospital one time and was convinced there was more wires than there was of her. But with every knock back, and every treatment that left her in bed for the next week – she kept on fighting on. And kept returning to work between rounds of treatment. It made me realise that I had to do something and fight too!
I started off by taking part in a few charity events on my summer breaks at university and raised around £5000. And was eventually inspired to get involved in charity work myself post university. I’ve worked at a few places since then, but I’m so proud to finally be working at The Christie now, raising money for us to be at the forefront of cancer research.
They originally gave my Mum 2 years to live, and that was 7 years ago. She continues to defy expectations, and inspires me to work today. I’m sure the Scouser in her tells her not to like Manchester – but I know secretly she’s very proud! I’ve used the picture from my graduation, as she went against doctors’ orders and came along to support me. She really inspired me that day – and continues to do so!
Click to ‘do something’ for The Christie