Help Rachel to achieve a dream

Hi all,

Thanks for coming to the page and reading this. I’ll try and keep it short and sweet - but I may struggle! We are raising money for a very special person - Rachel - to achieve her dream come true and see whales in Canada/Mexico. Rach will try and downplay it, but the last 18months have been horrific in anyone’s eyes. Anyone that knows me will know I’ve run a few marathons before, all for big charities and while that’s awesome, it doesn’t have the significance that this marathon has. 

A painful hip which we all hoped would go away as quickly as it came became something nobody could have predicted. Out walking her beautiful dogs on the Moors, Rach broke her hip..... well “broke” doesn’t really do it justice... smashed is possibly more accurate.... but this was just the start of a nightmare. The nightmare is that this was a result of metastatic breast cancer. A simple fall on the Moors resulted in Rachel's femur essentially smashing through her acetabulum (hip socket). A metastatic tumour had weakened the area significantly and the fall had caused massive trauma. This was the first Rach knew of any cancer - one day she was fit and well and the next facing a diagnosis of stage 4 cancer (there are only 4 stages).  The primary was found to be breast cancer.

The orthopods weren’t thinking they could operate and Rach was told she prob wouldn’t walk again.... fortunately she is one of the most stubborn (determined!) people I know and she was never going to accept this! Months and months in hospital and pain more than I could ever even imagine..... and despite her description of having a “peg leg”, she is doing amazingly. I’m used to seeing scary xrays, but when Rach showed me hers, even I had a little moment.... a full hip replacement and a supporting metal rod down the femur - massive surgery for anybody - let alone somebody now facing such a horrific diagnosis.

However, she’s doing brilliantly and it’s awesome to be able to go out walking the dogs together! It's been a long hard slog of rehab with many ups and downs, but her progress physically is more than anybody could have dreamed of. But that isn’t the end of the story unfortunately, as Rach describes much better than I could, her illness isn’t curable. Hormone therapy is doing it’s job for now and we just pray (and I’m not religious in the slightest) that it continues to do so for the foreseeable future. When I was chatting to her one day she described her illness as a “pain in the arse”...  I had to chuckle a little at this... only Rach could describe this illness as a “pain in the arse”! I think it sums up her approach to coping with this evil illness. Truely amazing and inspirational. 

However, that brings me to the point of this fundraising page! Rach’s dream/bucket list - whatever you want to call it - involves going to Canada to see whales. A long term dream and I would love to do anything I can to help her achieve that. We don’t know what the future holds for any of us, but Rach faces a much more difficult future than most of us. This dream has been a lifeline for Rach, something to brighten the really dark days.... and as much as she prob would struggle to admit it, there’s been a lot of those dark days. Anyone that knows Rach will know that wildlife is more than a passion... and whales... well, you just have to mention whales....  for the most amazing smile to illuminate her face. It’s more than a dream.

So the plan is - to run crazy distances off road to help fundraise to make her dreams come true. On the 2nd February I will be taking part in the South Devon Trail Marathon ( which is a coastal marathon - supposedly one of the hardest around, hopefully with a team of lovely and amazing friends!! Whether it’s a few pounds or a few hundred pounds we can raise, every little helps and would mean the world to Rach. She’s not good at accepting help (that’s the stubbornness coming through again!), but there’s some people in life who are special and deserve kindness - she is one of those, she doesn’t deserve the crap that has been dealt to her, but she does deserve to achieve her dreams. Please help me to help her to achieve those dreams. 

I am also hoping to recruit more team members to join this amazing challenge! There’s a 10k, 1/2 marathon, full marathon and an ultra so plenty of opportunities to run different distances. 

Thank you!

  • Claire Pasternakiewicz 
    • £10 
    • 27 mos
  • Rebecca Thom 
    • £20 
    • 27 mos
  • Terri Ashcroft  
    • £20 
    • 28 mos
  • Laurie Thompson 
    • £20 
    • 28 mos
  • Mike Woodward-Gregg 
    • £135 
    • 28 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Team Rach (14)

Abi Jane 
Tavistock, South West England, United Kingdom
Rachel Watkins 
Clare Scott 
Team member
Deborah Cain 
Team member
Hannah Cameron 
Team member
Jenny Frayne 
Team member
See all
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