Ever since I lost my wonderful wife Lorraine to ovarian cancer in 2014, my two daughters and I have raised funds for Target Ovarian Cancer every year.
A challenge a year
Previously we have held a tea party for friends and neighbours which was always fun. When we first started, Lorraine would visit local traders and business and convince them to donate a raffle prize or two. Nobody ever turned her away empty handed. Then my daughters took over the prize donation hunt and were equally successful. Neighbours and friends brought cakes to our house and we all drank tea, ate cake (so much cake!), laughed and remembered Lorraine.
Last year we decided to take part in the 11,000 Steps challenge. As someone who has a desk-bound job I struggle to do any steps at all, so 11,000 was always going to be tricky. There followed a month of evenings spent jogging on the spot in front of the TV!
Chariots of fire
Later in the year, the company I work for decided that the management team would hold a fundraising event and we all agreed to do the Chiltern Three Peak Challenge. The challenge is a 16km walk up hill and down dale through the beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside. I realised that I needed to do some training for this (other than just watching “Chariots of Fire” on TV!) so on the exercise bike I went.
The day of the walk dawned bright and sunny and we all met in Princes Risborough for the start of the trek, all of us keen, if a little apprehensive. After a bit of a detour, when we confidently set off in the wrong direction, we approached the first hill. This was the steepest one and it soon became apparent that this was indeed going to be a challenge. But every time the going got tough, the breathing a bit laboured, legs burning, feet aching - my beautiful wife joined me in my memories and I thought of all that she had endured. Suddenly the path wasn’t quite so steep and my legs lost their aching.
With teamwork, encouragement and determination we all made it to the top of the final hill. It was amazingly windy but we didn’t care, we had made it! The sense of achievement was heightened by the knowledge that I had raised a lot of money for a charity that does incredible work and is close to my family’s hearts. I like to think that Lorraine was with me on the walk and that she would have been proud of me. Now what shall we do this year, I wonder?