My name is Michael, I live in London and I am a keen runner.
I usually partake in 10km, half marathon and marathon races during the year but this challenge is totally different.
It is not about running fast. It is not about setting personal bests.
It is about helping a friend.
2016 proved to be a very difficult year for my friend Laura and her family. I wanted to do something to support them but didn't quite know how to.
I had the idea that I could run from my house in Brentford to Laura's house in Barrow Upon Soar and raise money for some charities that have helped Laura and her family as well as hopefully raising awareness about the illnesses that have affected Laura and her sister.
As I mapped out my route it seemed that the total miles would be 127.
I aim to run it over 6 days. I don't doubt I will end up running more as I take wrong turns.
To keep me on track I will have my trusted smartphone. In fact, that will be the only thing I will have with me.
I intend to direct myself using my phone, pay for drinks, lunches and dinner using ApplePay and even check in to hotels along the way using the Hotels.com app.
This is my plan for the week:
Day 1 (24 July 2018): Brentford – Amersham (21 miles)
Day 2 (25 July 2018): Amersham – Milton Keynes (32 miles)
Day 3 (26 July 2018): Milton Keynes (possible visit to Bletchley Park) – Northampton (21 miles)
Day 4 (27 July 2018): Northampton – Rugby (possible visit to Althorp & Daventry) (23 miles)
Day 5 (28 July 2018): Rugby – Leicester (20 miles)
Day 6 (29 July 2018): Leicester – Laura’s house (10 miles)
My name is Laura Pearson and my sister is Rachel Timmins, and we’re from Barrow upon Soar in Leicestershire.
In late 2015, around the time that my son Joseph turned two and Rachel’s son Louie turned four, we both discovered that we were pregnant with our second children.
However, in early 2016, I found a lump in my breast, and in April I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Rachel was an incredible support, even going on maternity leave early to be with me. I had a lumpectomy in May and gave birth to Elodie in June (five weeks early, following an induction).
Seven days later, Rachel gave birth to Jay while I had my first dose of chemo. Nine days after that, Rachel had a massive stroke. The following night, she had a further bleed on the brain and underwent two surgeries to stop the bleeding. She was in hospital for many months.
Meanwhile, I finished chemotherapy in October 2016, but I’d found out I had the BRCA2 gene mutation (which puts women at very high risk of breast and ovarian cancer). In November, I had my ovaries removed. And in January 2017, I underwent a double mastectomy and implant reconstruction.
In March 2017, Rachel left hospital and moved to a care home for people with brain injuries, where she is still living. In September, she had cranioplasty, a surgery to rebuild her skull using a metal plate.
The hope is that Rachel will be able to return home at some point, but there is no planned date as yet. Rachel will require significant home renovations and lots of equipment when this time comes.
Breast Cancer Care support women with a breast cancer diagnosis in many different ways. In Laura's case, they funded her attendance at a two-day event called Younger Women Together, where she met other women in her position. They also sent her a picture book called Mummy's Lump to help her explain to her son Joseph what was happening.
To donate to Breast Cancer Care please do so via the below link:
The Stroke Association is the UK's leading charity dedicated to conquering stroke.
To donate to Stroke Association please do so via the below link:
When Rachel is ready to go home, her family will need to make renovations and buy equipment. Rachel is in a wheelchair and needs a piece of equipment (like a hoist) to help her move from her bed to her wheelchair. She will also need to have a bedroom and wet room downstairs. Any money raised for this cause as part of Michael's challenge will go towards these costs.
To donate directly to Rachel please visit the link below: