Amy is dying from a rare form of cancer called Pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP). This is also known as jelly belly, is an extremely rare condition that usually develops from cancers of the appendix. Unlike other cancers that spread to other organs and areas of the body, pseudomyxoma peritonei remains confined to the abdomen but may cause symptoms due to massive distension and pressure.
She has been cared for in the Margaret Kerr unit palliative care in Melrose, Scottish Borders too. the unit provide care at home in complex cases too (which Amys is) and Amy is currently at home.
I played rugby with Amy some years ago and the team are embarking on a fundraising exercise to raise awareness of this cancer and money to help research it. We are also raising money for the Margaret Kerr Unit which has cared for Amy and her family to ensure it remains, the building is homely and the best care can be given in peoples final days. When Amy is there her family can stay with her overnight and there are gardens and rooms which don't look so much like a hospital.
We are also raising funds for the Berwick and District Cancer Support Group. The group transports people for free to the major hospitals (approx 55 +miles away) for treatment-otherwise these people cannot get there. The group formed in 1992 because some people did not go for treatment as there is next to no public transport to our hospitals. It runs entirely on volunteers and is an essential service in our area.
All the fund I raise over the next 12 months will be split equally between these 3 causes.
Before I tell you of my challenge I would like to say that I truelly understand that money is tight-I get that BUT if you even have a pound PLEASE consider donating to this effort. I sat at Amys the other week as her little boy cuddled in to his mum twirling her hair around and around cuddling in to her for comfort-he won't be able to do that much longer-he is 4. My strong and brave friend is writing birthday/Xmas cards for the future years, letters for her boys first day at school, notes for family and her children when she isn't there. She is organising her 'fun'eral all with huge dignity and tremendous courage-I am in awe of her. They are doing as much as they can together as a family-making memories, all these things we do and state on social media 'making memories' which of course we are but she is having to cram so much in and just hope her kids remember it all. However the outcome will be that those 3 children won't have their mum for much longer and that breaks my heart.
Amy is happy that we do this, wants us to raise awareness and funds and is fully behind what I write now.
So.....this year so far I will be embarking on 3 half marathons, the first one end April in Stirling the next one end of May in Edinburgh in the summer I will do a 10K in Gateshead and then in September the Great North Run. Mid October I will be attempting the Yorkshire Marathon. This maybe ok for some but I'm carrying 4-5 stone more than I should, I'm not a great runner and I currently have a back issue so I can honestly tell you every single one will hurt me but I am a determined individual and Amy will get me through especially the marathon. I hope to add more to this (my hair is extremely long and in great condition-it would make a great wig-its only hair and mine will grow again) but currently this is what is booked.
Years ago our rugby team called themselves 'The Berwick Diamonds' and one of our diamonds is fading, please help me give my beautiful, kind and caring friend Amy some legacy.
I am already in contact with Berwick and District Cancer Support Group and will contact the Margaret Kerr Unit soon along with the Hampshre hospitals for the research imminently-just wanted to get this started.
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