Thursday 30th November 2023
Hello and thanks for visiting my donation page!
I have made the (possibly very foolish) decision to attempt to run the entirety of the South West Coast Path, some 630 miles of very hilly and in parts difficult terrain, in, or under 6 weeks! I’ll be starting on the 30th April 2023 and hopefully finishing by or before 10th June 2023 and will be raising money for Cancer Research UK and the Weldmar Hospicecare trust. I will be running on average 18-20 miles a day (give or take a few), with all my belongings in a bag on my back. I'll also be camping each night and so will be completely self-sufficient and self-funded.
A bit of background as to my fundraising challenge; in February of last year, I sadly lost my Dad, Christopher John Aylward, at the age of 64 to lung cancer. His cancer was identified as quite uncommon as he was a non-smoker. My Dad fought a long and brave battle with his cancer and I want to test the limits of my physicality by taking on this challenge, as a way of acknowledging the physical changes and pain that my Dad went through and to honour his memory. The end of the South West Coast Path, Studland Bay near Poole, was my Mum and Dad’s favourite place to go together and I can’t think of a better place to finish my challenge.
I also want to show my gratitude by raising as much as possible for the two charities who were at the centre of my dad’s battle; Cancer Research UK and the Weldmar Hospicecare trust. Cancer Research UK gave my Dad access to new and pioneering cancer treatments and trials that, sadly, most people at that stage of cancer do not get opportunity for. I firmly believe that having the opportunity to participate in these trials added time, perhaps years, to my Dad’s life and gave us all hope in what was a very bleak time. The Weldmar hospicecare trust is the local hospice and their staff were incredibly kind and supportive, particularly towards the end of my Dad’s life.
Running has always been somewhat of a coping mechanism for me, particularly throughout my Dad’s illness and I have been thinking about doing this challenge for the best part of two years. As my Dad’s cancer started to really take hold and he became increasingly sick, I started to think about what I could do to show some kind of support. I knew there was nothing I could do to make things any better, except spend time with him regularly and offer to help my Mum where I could. I think the inability to change anything and the feeling of not being able to help, forced me to think of ways in which I could make some small impact. I did mention my idea to my Dad a few months before he died and, usually being fairly risk averse, I was surprised that he liked the idea and encouraged it wholeheartedly!
I would be so grateful for any donation you could give. Every £ donated will spur me on even more! Thank you! Lots of love, Katie xxx
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