Cancer is a word that has come up far too often in my conversations with friends and family over the past three years. It used to be a word I hardly knew, but now my family knows far too much about white blood cell counts and chemotherapy cycles than is comfortable. With this much experience, I feel like I should be better at saying or doing things that help. But for each new target of this dreaded disease –I am struck by the same fear, anger, sadness and overwhelming sense of powerlessness that knocks me every time.
But I’m alive. So this month I’ve joined the team and I’m running for Ruth Allan, a woman whose selflessness and generosity inspired her friends, children, husband, nieces, nephews and other family members to keep putting one foot in front of the other for the people who can’t. I’m running for Bowel Cancer New Zealand – an organisation that is tasked with helping thousands of Kiwis every year. (New Zealand has one of the highest incidences of bowel cancer in the world). I’m running for my two beautiful, loving siblings, who are too tired to come along after surgeries and treatments that I wish they didn't have to undergo. And I’m running for my late husband Wayne – who died two years ago of lymphoma.