As though the last few months haven’t been frantic enough I’ve signed up to take part in my first Moonwalk which takes place in London on May 12th. For those of you who don’t know it’s a fundraising power-walking marathon through the streets of London to raise money for breast cancer charity Walk The Walk. The basic rules are that you
a) walk don’t run (suits me)
b) raise a minimum of £100 (fingers crossed)
c) walk through the streets of London in a bra (I’m game if you are)
As anyone who knows me will testify 2012 may well be an Olympic year but I am NO athlete so why on earth am I doing this? Here’s why;
I was first diagnosed with cancer (Hodgkin’s disease stage 3) in my early 20’s whilst studying for my HND in textile design. At the time I was unaware how seriously ill I was which was just as well since I had tumours in my neck, chest and stomach which required months of really nasty chemo followed by a month of daily radiotherapy treatment. However thanks to the brilliant oncology department at St Bartholomew’s hospital in London I made a full recovery and managed to complete my HND. In the 15 years that followed I was told that I had an increased chance of developing breast cancer due to the radiotherapy I received (to my chest) in order to rid me of the Hodgkins. Sure enough, I discovered a lump whilst living in Edinburgh and within a week was diagnosed with breast cancer. Again I was very fortunate to be in the ‘right place’ and after undergoing a mastectomy received more chemo and was successfully treated at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital by the staff of another brilliant oncology department.
Whilst I don’t dwell on my cancer ‘journey’ I consider myself very lucky that both treatments have been successful and I’m still here even though the ‘me’ I see in the mirror now isn’t quite who I expected to become back when I was a daft 1st year student aged 20. I recently saw a good friend who expected me to tell her that I have cancer for a 3rd time because my head is now shaved – nope, no cancer. BUT having worn wigs for the last 2 years I’d just rather accept that the long term effects of chemo mean that my hair will never be as it once was – so I shaved it off.
With my best friend Margo and my sister Sandra at my side I’ll be donning my bra on May 12th and hoping to raise as much money as possible for Walk The Walk. They donate to charities that fund research into breast cancer as well as those who provide emotional and physical support for people who have the disease now.
So many of us have been affected or know someone who has been touched by this terrible disease so if you would like to sponsor me you can do so through my fundraising page here. Alternatively if you place an order for yarn or patterns through the website www.jeanettesloandesign.com during May I’ll be donating 10% from every sale to Walk The Walk.
Thank you for reading this post, I’m off to decorate my bra