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Help Rachel to achieve a dream

£3,364 of £3,000 goal

Raised by 123 people in 10 months
Created October 14, 2018
Team Rach
on behalf of Rachel Watkins
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 ( https://www.endurancelife.com/southdevon) 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!

Abs
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Hi wonderful people....

Rach has sent this update for you all.

Hello everyone. I have returned to UK soil and am delighted to arrive back in this glorious weather. I’m a weary and emotional traveller after a seriously mind-blowing trip. Wonderful people, wildlife in an abundance that I could never have imagined and experiences that I will never forget. Despite my “troubles” I threw myself into every opportunity and have so much to tell you all.....and perhaps have the odd photo to share! I can safely say that whales do truly exist and are some of the most gentle and graceful creatures I have ever encountered. My dream has come true and this is thanks to your wonderful support and generosity. I will hopefully find a way to thank you all properly and there has been a suggestion that I do some sort of presentation, to share my travels with you. For now I can only offer words of gratitude. This trip was everything and more! Xxx
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Dear lovely sponsors. Rach has sent this message to share with you all.

To all of you who had the kindness and generosity to contribute to helping me achieve my dream - thank you, thank you, thank you! I have safely arrived in San Diego and the dream starts here. I am unlikely to have internet access once aboard Searcher, so updates might have to happen when I return. As I type this I am sat with a cuppa on my hotel balcony, with sun shining down on San Diego Marina. I am very tired from a long flight yesterday but the excitement will hopefully carry me through! This truly is a dream come true and it wouldn’t have been possible without you guys! Sending so much love and I hope to see you on the other side with some evidence that whales are real!

Thank you so much for all of your generous donations! Seeing and hearing Rach buzzing is pretty amazing!! I can’t wait to hear her stories!!!

Thank you!

Abs
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Firstly please can we offer sincere thanks for the huge support and generous donations to date. This really is a dream come true for Rach and is offering much joy and light in an otherwise worrying and uncertain world. Due to your amazing support, she has booked her trip and subject to her scan this week coming back as “stable” will be travelling in April with Wildlife Worldwide Travel, to Baja California! We are all hoping that this next scan brings the news she is so hoping for.

With the event rapidly approaching and less than a week to go it is really unfortunate that the event organisers have just informed us that there is a 1.5 mile walk to the start and back from the finish! Due to a rather strange set up with parking, participants of the half marathon and 10K routes have to walk this distance from the car park shuttle bus to the event and back again on completion. While there is an option for drop off at the start there is no option of collection at the finish and with most of us driving ourselves to the event, drop off isn’t an option anyway! This seemingly ridiculous arrangement adds a total of 3 miles to the distances that people are already running and walking. Most of us taking part are not runners or athletes and are simply doing this event to support our dear friend. The extra distance will be pushing even the fittest of us and sadly makes the event “not viable” for some. As we went into this as a team, the majority are feeling that we should all stick together for Rach and that it is the distance and challenge that counts rather than the location or event.

We appreciate that the generosity of donations has been given on the basis that we were all taking part in the Endurance Life event but with the late notice of the extra 3 mile distance, some of us are now considering alternative options. Along the Teign Gorge we have found a route that not only covers the same distances as the race event but also covers a higher overall ascent. This means an equivalent personal challenge for all involved, without the extra mileage.

We are writing to you to ask if there would be any objection to the person you have sponsored withdrawing from the Endurance Life event and running / walking the alternative route instead. The last thing we wish to be is dishonest. If you have any objections to a planned alternative route, please could you let us know by Thursday 31st at the latest. If you wish for a refund of your sponsorship due to the changed plans, please say.

We are all a little annoyed and disappointed at the Endurance Life organisation and communications and can only apologise to anyone who feels strongly about their sponsorship being based on completion of the publicised event.

Wherever it happens, we are all going to push ourselves to the max on 2nd February. If anything, in pure celebration of the fact that despite a prognosis of being wheelchair bound, Rach will be taking on her own massive personal challenge in walking the 10k herself.

Thank you for your time and in hope that you understand the “Team Rach” dilemma.

Many thanks, Abi
abshall@sky.com
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Wow! It’s a week to go!! Can’t believe that it’s come around so quickly! So we’re well above £2k now.... hoping to get to £3k soon! The amazing news is that Rach has booked her trip! Such amazing generosity. Thank you all. A well deserved dream is actually going to become a reality. Thank you... that doesn’t seem enough.... words can’t express what this means to Rach and everyone close to her. Seeing her achieve a dream is so important. Thank you.
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£3,364 of £3,000 goal

Raised by 123 people in 10 months
Created October 14, 2018
Team Rach
on behalf of Rachel Watkins
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Claire Pasternakiewicz
4 months ago
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4 months ago
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4 months ago
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5 months ago
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