Tell us your story
In September 2020, my family were shocked when we received the news that my mum, Nina, had been diagnosed with terminal Stage 4 gallbladder cancer, her having had no symptoms leading up to it. Unfortunately gallbladder cancer is often only diagnosed in the later stages when treatment is unlikely to cure it. Due to complexities with Mum’s medical history, the treatment she was on to contain the cancer instead had an adverse reaction, causing her to have a minor stroke.
After recovering from this, my Mum and Dad made the difficult decision to stop all forms of treatment to contain, but instead to be on palliative medication to treat her pain and symptoms. 5 months later, she passed away in her sleep.
While my Mum was ill, Macmillan visited regularly to give support to both her and my Dad. These nurses are experts in controlling symptoms, such as pain, sickness and breathlessness – all of which Mum had in abundance, and I’m so thankful they kept Mum in relative comfort. They were also there to provide emotional support and practical advice to my Dad to be able to help keep my Mum at home. Mum did not want to be in hospital, so Macmillan did everything they could to enable her to stay at home as long as possible. I’m so thankful for them. I never want anyone to have to go through this, but if they do, I wanted to do my part in ensuring Macmillan are there for them. Hence why I decided to fundraise by doing Tough Mudder.
It’s a 9ish mile (15km) course with 30 obstacles. It’s a really tough challenge, and I wanted to do something that put me out of my comfort zone, for a cause so important to me. I’ve never run 15km before. I’ve never run more than 1km before… but without hesitation, the 15km was the course I wanted to do. I also managed to get some colleagues and friends to join me to create a great dream team.
Over the past few years, I’ve needed family and friends to keep going throughout this horrible time. When running with the team, it felt like life emulating itself through the mud. You need a team to keep going. You need a team to lift you up. You need a team to carry you. You need a team to motivate you. You need a team to slow down with you when it gets tough. You need a team like this in life, and you need a team like this for Tough Mudder.
Thanks to my amazing team, we raced on the 10th September 2022 at Chalmondsley Castle, and we raised over £5000 for Macmillan. We stuck together throughout the course, and managed to complete the course in less than 4 hours.
How did you feel after you completed the run?
My mum was always my biggest cheerleader, so I felt such a great sense of pride and elation when we completed the course after running it in her memory, I was just so proud and thankful of the team and what we’d accomplished together. We had smiles on our faces and we were absolutely buzzing. We started together and finished together as a team. It also felt really weird because after 9-10 months of having the date in the diary, it was over! So yes, we may be doing it again next year!
What did you find most challenging?
After that, I’d say the distance. I knew the distance would be a challenge, that’s why I wanted to do that length. I also wanted to do as many obstacles as possible, so with that also came 15km. I loved the obstacles, but it was the getting to the obstacles that I found most challenging. But thankfully, my lovely team were there and we all motivated each other to just keep moving.
Well done to Steph and her incredible team 👏Such a true inspiration to all.
Give your mud meaning and tackle our infamous obstacles whilst raising money for causes close to hear in the process.
Get muddy for Macmillan. Take part in Tough Mudder for Macmillan Cancer Support and help do whatever it takes for people living with cancer. Cancer can affect lives in so many ways, so we’re here to give people the support they need.
Which 2023 event will you be running at?