Following my previous blog post, I agreed to take part in the Race for Life 5k event to raise money for Cancer Research. Having known Katherine and Emily for a while and being touched by their story, I approached them to join the #TeamEmily pink army. There were several asking to join the team to run on behalf of Emily and before we all knew it, the members topped 57! The pain staking task of entering everyone in the system under one team, ordering t-shirts and sorting meeting points were met as volunteers quickly assembled together. Team Emily was born and I was proud to be a runner.
The aim of Race for Life is beautiful. A day when every single runner has one thing in common and that’s being directly affected by Cancer. It’s an emotional day as you remember those who battled through, those who are recently diagnosed and those who gained their wings. You can feel the togetherness while your warming up on the day as you look around the crowd and see the notes of love pinned to every runner’s back. While raising money for Cancer Research you also raise awareness of how much things have progressed over the years. You read about the new medicines that are available and ground-breaking treatments that we are so close to finalising.
Our Team of 57 raised money for something different. While CR needs the necessary funds to continue the research, we raised money for the parents and carers of our local cancer ward, the C2 ward.
Katherine, Emily’s mum, has expressed her delight when she received her gift bag at Christmas time one year and wanted to do the same for others that were in her situation. So while setting up the JustGiving page she decided all money raised will go towards gift bag items to give someone else the chance to smile.
Setting the target to £2000, all members of Team Emily shared on social media and on race day, the target was smashed with donations exceeding the goal by almost half!
Nerves set in for many of the group, I often saw members out training on the high street. Keeping in touch with everyone on social media, Katherine gave us all a day by day training update as she was preparing. On the morning of the Race, Team Emily reached 60 members, dressed in our pink #TeamEmily t-shirts, we proudly marched down Regent Street in Cambridge City Centre, taking over the path ways with our warrior paint in full view. Emily proudly walking among us!
The run up to the start buzzer is always tense, nerves start to hit, you need a wee, you get slightly intimidated by the serious runners stretching on the sides wearing compression socks and Garmin watches. This time none of that mattered. We had our warrior proudly walking around, calm as anything even when she was up on stage being interviewed by HEART radio! Emily showed us how it’s done! She made each and every one of the team members proud as hell as she was interviewed by different media.
Doing the race was fun, it goes by quickly that way. I ran with Daisy the dog who is getting a bit old now and cant run like she used too anymore! I had to carry her over the finish line but she made it! I didn’t even look at the time. I have no idea how quickly I finished or if it was even quick at all! All I know is that day, that race was different. We were there for Emily, for Katherine and for the others who are still fighting. I felt emotional and for the first time it wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about my achievements or another medal. I didn’t care about the finishing picture or the time. I was there for them. I was a part of a team that was brought together by a lovely young lady who never asked for anything! A young lady who had more strength then all 60 of us put together and more courage than I can comprehend.
This Race for life was yours Emily and you smashed it. It was a pleasure to run along side you and share a glass of Tango afterward!
Same time next year?
For details about Emily’s journey and more Race for Life pictures visit My Emily facebook page and Cambridge News website and search Race For Life Cambridge 2017. Team Emily dominates the pictures and you may or may not see a Blue haired lady!
DeAnna’s (Blue Chameleon blog series) Focuses on rebuilding self-confidence after suffering through difficult times. DeAnna lives in Cambridge, England with her family, cats and dog. She credits a portion of happiness to her partner, Pete, punctuation manager, chief tea maker, and bringer of toast.