Most of us, at some point in our lives, have seen the pain that cancer causes

By Rachel Fletcher

Whether it’s our mum, nan, partner or friend, the tragic news that someone has been diagnosed is hard to bear.

Thankfully, I consider myself lucky not to have had cancer. My motivation to take on the 500k Lakes to London is because I’ve experienced the loss of people I love, and the worry and anxiety for everyone who fights the disease.

I was very young when I lost both my grandmothers to breast and lung cancer. They were strong women, each in their own way, and I remember them fondly.

As an adult, one of my best friends lived with breast cancer for almost 12 years before it took her life, way too early, at just 43. And another close friend died way too young. Both women taught me to live well and they’re dearly missed.

I cared for my mum through terminal stomach cancer ten years ago. Her twin sister died three years later, to the day, of pancreatic cancer. They’ve left a big hole in our family.

It’s not always a terminal diagnosis, but it does leave scars, seen and unseen. My wife was diagnosed with melanoma a few years ago.

So whatever I can do to help research cancer, I will.

Why am I running, cycling and taking on the dreaded swimming? Not in memory of people, not to recognise the loss, but because I am able to.

I want to play my part in raising money for more cancer trials, for research and for others. And because next time it could be me, or you.

So, I would say that if you want to walk, run, cycle or swim – there’s a Her Spirit Lakes to London team out there waiting. Because together we can!

Rachel is playing a key part in the Her Spirit’s Lakes to London 500KM challenge  which is aiming to raise £100,000 for Breast Cancer Now. You can sign up too and join her Lakes to London

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