July 19th 2015
Today my girlfriend ran (walked) the race for life. It’s a 5km circuit that encourages woman to dress brightly in pink and raise money for Cancer Research UK by running/jogging/walking 5km whilst in tutu’s and blonde wigs.
On the front of their bright pink outfits they have their team name and individual runner number, on the back they have a label that says “I race for…” And each runner fills in that gap with the person for whom they are racing.
My girlfriend wrote “I race for Mumsey – 1 year Cancer free” because her Mum was diagnosed, battled with, and survived bowel cancer and is now completely clear of it. And she walked the race too, today.
Every runner had a different message on the back, “I race for me” “I race for Dad” “I race for Darren, Mike, Lisa, Julie & me.” But the worst one I saw was “I race for my little brother” which was worn on the back of a girl who couldn’t’ve been any older than 7.
Seeing all these names on the backs of the shirts was depressing.
The man on the intercom said that 1 in 3 people are directly affected by cancer in their lives. Whether that’s you, or a relative, or someone you know being diagnosed. One in three. And in five years time that could be 1 in 2. Which is why Cancer Research needs a boatload of funding. Because fuck cancer, that’s why.
Last summer my Dad and I did a skydive to raise money for Cancer Research and McMillan Cancer support, because we, like 1 in 3 of all of us, have been directly affected by cancer.
And it’s a cruel and heartless bitch. Cancer has no target, no end goal, no ideal. It doesn’t care who you are, it doesn’t have a type, it’s not fussy. It tears through everything and everyone in its way. And for what?
A five year old boy. A fifty year old mother of two. A forty five year old father of four. A mother. A son. An uncle. Cancer knows no familial bonds. Cancer doesn’t care. Cancer is a heartless bitch, fuck cancer.
It’s not fair.
Worst case scenario you lose the person completely, best case scenario you lose the person you had before they were diagnosed. Because you’re never the same afterwards. You go from human, to cancer sufferer, to cancer survivor. And you always have that, you don’t get to go back to human again.
But you get to wear it as a badge of honour, because you made it. You did it.
The woman who came fourth in today’s race was 12 months ago a cancer sufferer that was completely bald. Now she has a full head of hair and is a cancer survivor. She’s running 5k in 23 minutes even though she had breast cancer a year ago.
People like that are why Cancer Research and McMillan are so important. Because yes, once you’ve had it you’ll always have had it. It will always be with you, but you don’t have to let it take you down.
Until tomorrow, fuck cancer.