Hello Newcastle – Let’s do this!!!!

ra0001-croppedWell the time is finally here! This morning we set off from Norfolk to drive up to Newcastle to start our Hadrian’s Wall trek tomorrow morning. All the training has been done for our 84 mile walk and I feel so unprepared.

My Dad has had a UTI and is still weak, Auntie June has had a middle ear infection, Laura has just got back from a hen weekend in Italy and is hanging, and I have Osteoarthritis in my knees and a dodgy hip. What a rag taggle bunch we are but we are going to do this! We will complete the 84 miles over the next 6 days.

We picked up the support vehicle over the weekend which has been loaned to us at a discounted rate by Enterprise Cars in Chelmsford. My Dad (Alan) and my Uncle (Tim) shared the driving whilst me and my Auntie June chatted in the back of the car. It was lovely to see the Angel of the North and it reminded me of why we are doing this. We are walking to raise funds for Cancer Research and in memory of my Mum, our own Angel of the North, who passed away from Ovarian Cancer last year. Dad has spent the last year organising this trip for us independently and his nerves are shredded as he has never organised anything like this before. We are all anxious but excited and want to get started.

We finally arrived after lunch and checked in to the Jurys Inn Hotel in Newcastle. After dumping our bags in our room we went to check out Walls End Fort at Segedunum to get our Hadrian’s Wall passports so we do not have to worry about getting them in the morning before starting our walk tomorrow. We have our first stamp in the passport and we are set to go at 9.00 tomorrow morning.

It will be an early night for us tonight after our lovely meal at The Victoria Comet and a few bevvies so we are all fighting fit for tomorrow. I’m so looking forward to my comfy bed. We will have 15 miles to cover tomorrow. Bring it on!! The pain in my legs will be nothing in comparison to what Mum suffered and so many of my friends and family are suffering or have suffered through cancer.

If you want to cheer us on then please support this bunch of misfits and sponsor us via our Just Giving Page
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Here are some useful links and supporters:

Enterprise Car Hire Chelmsford

Segedunum

Jurys Inn Newcastle

Victoria Comet

Share the love this Christmas season

I was reading up some of the latest blogs on the Facebook Group ‘Without My Mum’ which I am a member of. The group is run by the author Leigh Van Der Horst for people who have lost their mothers and want to support each other. The book is a tough read but has helped me to see that I am not the only one feeling the way that I do and that it is ok to not be ok but that I will get stronger with each day. If you want to purchase the book it is available via Amazon: Without My Mum

As I was reading through I came across a post about a lady who is struggling with breast cancer in Australia and doesn’t have any family over there and is close to giving up. The daughter has set up a page to ask people to send Christmas cards from around the word to encourage her to keep going. As I have lost my Mother recently to cancer I understand the fear and the struggle and if I can help by sending a card and make someone smile who is fighting this awful battle then that is the least that I can do.

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If you want to send a card here is the link: Julie Christmas Card appeal

I spent today Christmas shopping for the first time without my Mum and I spent most of the day swallowing back tears. Until a very kind shop assistant at Bravissimo Norwich , Anna May, placed a beautiful little note in my purchase. She made me smile on a very difficult and emotional day. Thank you Anna May. Bravissimo

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I know how hard this time of year is for many so please share the love and some kindness this festive season, smile at people in the street, say good morning, give the tip to the person who really deserves it, help those that need it, you never know how much you can turn someones day around with one small gesture.

If you want to help us by making a donating towards our fundraising for our Hadrian’s Wall Walk in Memory of my Mum for Cancer Research then please donate via our Just Giving Page.

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Stand Up To Cancer! Fundraising at Tesco

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My Dad and I are exhausted. We have just spent the last two days fundraising for Cancer Research at Tesco, Princes Road, Chelmsford where Mum used to work. We wanted to boost our fundraising and awareness for our Hadrian’s Wall Walk next year in aid of Cancer Research. Rosemary’s Cruisers were there on the 21st and 22nd of October timed perfectly to support Stand Up To Cancer.

It was humbling to meet so many people effected by cancer and so many cancer survivors. It made us appreciate even more just how important the work of Cancer Research is and how every penny we can raise to help fight this vile disease really does help to make a difference.

We split our time between walking on the treadmill and talking to people whilst we took donations. This was the first time my Dad had been on a treadmill so it was hard work for him. I am so proud of him for organising this and for every second he spent on that treadmill. After two days our legs are a little sore. We averaged about 18 miles a day.

We’d like to thank the staff at Tesco for enabling us to do this fundraising event and of course to thank the shoppers at Tesco who helped us raise so much money. It was also great to see so many of my Mum’s work colleagues and shoppers who remember her so fondly. Thank you for your support and coming to chat with us on the day. We are now on 75% of our target for the Hadrian’s Wall Walk in Memory of my Mum Rosemary Alexander.

We’ve still got a long way to go to our target so please support us by donating on our Just Giving page … Thank you.. Keep well and Stand Up To Cancer!!!

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Walkies – Training walks with Taz my dog

Time seems to be flying by so quickly at the moment. As the nights are drawing in and winter is approaching I’ve been trying to make the most of the last of our warmer days and getting out for some training walks with my dog Taz. It’s not long until our Hadrian’s Wall walk in May 2017 and my lovely little pooch Taz is thoroughly enjoying me taking her out for all these lovely long walks.

Three years ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and was told that if I lost weight I could reverse the symptoms. I chose not to go it alone and joined Slimming World. When I was losing weight I did loads of exercise and Taz even used to come running with me. I lost over 9 stone with Slimming World, reversed my diabetes, and have now maintained my weight for over 2 years. Taz loved going for a run and was a great companion meaning that I could be more adventurous in where I was going. We even did a 5k Race for Life together with my local Slimming World Group. Since being diagnosed with Osteoarthritis I had to stop running and have slowly built up my walking again. Getting out for walks with Taz has been a great way to keep the weight off and she loves exploring around my local area.

Having her keeping me company on my training walks means that I can go further and further and my knees are slowly getting stronger. When it is warmer I try to get out early so she doesn’t overheat in the mid-day sun. I must admit she is a bit of a princess and she hates the rain and cold so I’m going to be investing in a coat for her for the winter.

Every night I have to do leg stretches and strengthening exercises for my knees and Taz see’s this as a great time to play. Every evening she brings her balls to me thinking that because Mummy is sitting on the floor it is play time.

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Taz won’t be coming with my to Hadrian’s Wall but she is loving every second of my training.

If you would like to support us on our charity walk for Cancer Research UK in honor of my Mum Rosemary who passed away from Ovarian Cancer in March this year please donate via our Just Giving Page. My Mum loved Taz and we quite often went for little strolls when my Mum visited. Taz always snuggled down on Nanna’s lap at the end of the night when she stayed over so every second I spend training with Taz is her little way of helping me honor my Mum.

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Scientists link obesity to THIRTEEN types of disease including the ovaries, stomach and liver

Cancer-cellsYesterday I read an article in the Mail about how Obesity is linked to 13 types of cancer. Having been overweight for most of my adult life this article scared me. I also wanted to know more, as I know a lot of Newspapers glorify stories to scare-monger and attract readers with sensationalist stories, particularly about obesity and its effects on people. I was also advised by the Genetic Counsellor I saw at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge that I had done all I could in losing weight and that it had given me better chances, in fact according to Cancer Resarch 11% lower risk of cancer overall.

Having lost my Mum recently to Ovarian Cancer I have been consulting with Addenbrookes to get her DNA tested to see if she had the BRCA1 Gene Mutation. I will then decide how I want to progress once I have Mum’s results. I have lost over 11 stone, 9 stone of this on the Slimming World healthy eating plan. Mum was so proud of me and came with me when I was invited by Slimming World to feature in their magazine and take part in a photo shoot in London. It was one of the proudest moments of my life and I was so glad to share this with my Mum. When she was in hospital she kept telling every nurse she met about my transformation and it is one thing that keeps me on track. Since Mum has passed I have been struggling to maintain my weight. Throwing myself in to a social life has been one of the things that is keeping me going and this isn’t friendly to my waistline. I have gained half a stone and am out of my ‘target’ bubble. I know that I will get back to target as I have to keep making Mum proud and keep myself the healthiest I can be. I am finding a balance between healthy living and mindfulness and with the wonderful support of Jane Aldous and her amazing Slimming World group I will get back to target.

As for my worries about my Obesity causing cancer… from the conversation I had with the genetic consultant apparently it used to be 1 in 3 people who got cancer, now as we live longer and are exposed to so many more chemicals it is more like 1 in 2. So the chances are that at some point I will  get some form of cancer or perhaps it will miss me. I will not live in fear of cancer but I will give myself the best chances possible. I fully intend to live my life to the full, enjoy myself and the freedom that I have and take care of myself and my body at the same time.

Cancer is a vile disease that is robbing so many of their family members and loved ones. Myself, my Father, my Aunt and my Friend are walking Hadrian’s Wall next year and aim to raise £4k to support Cancer Research so we can help them fight this illness. If you can take the time to sponsor us or share our blog it would be greatly appreciated as we have set ourselves a huge target.

If you want to read the Mail article here it is: Mail Online – Obesity Cancer Link Article

If you want to read more about how being overweight can cause cancer visit the link here to the Cancer Research site Cancer Research How Being Overweight Causes Cancer

If you want to read more about my Slimming World Story visit here Slimming World Story

Can losing weight lower your risk, Cancer Research UK explains more here Cancer Research UK – losing weight lowering your risk

To sponsor us please visit our Just Giving Page
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Organ transplants: Hundreds helped by former cancer patients

‘Hundreds of people in the UK have received an organ transplant from someone with a history of cancer, despite many believing you cannot donate if you have had the disease.

A total of 272 organ donors across the UK in the past five years had a history of cancer, according to data obtained by the Press Association.

Their donations resulted in 675 people receiving a transplant.’

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Mum had wanted to be an organ donor but when she had previously had breast cancer she was told she couldn’t be a donor anymore. We wish we had known this as she always wanted to help others. Perhaps with more research and funding more can be done to research in to this and make more people aware of the good that can be done.

BBC news Organ Transplants from Cancer Patients

To sponsor us and our charity walk of 84 miles along Hadrian’s Wall for Cancer Research please donate via our Just Giving page

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Genetic testing and hereditary ovarian cancer: Target Ovarian Cancer launches new information guide.

Our Charity walk along Hadrian’s Wall will help fund research to fight these illnesses and may help to uncover further Gene Testing that could save more lives. Target Ovarian Cancer released a new guide to help women through the process and the difficult decisons ahead. As I am going through this process at the moment it is a useful read and I hope this helps others too.

Target Ovarian Cancer Gene Testing Guide

Download the guide here

To sponsor us for our walk please donate through our Just Giving page

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