When I first moved to Cornwall, I was giving up the life that I knew to join Martyn in Cornwall to start our new adventure together. I was petrified of trying to find a job but I did thanks to a man called Neil.
I could never have wished for a better boss, Neil was what you would ever hope for as a manager. There are so many stories to tell, but two in particular stick in my mind. Some of you may know that me and Marty adopted a very ill and mistreated Greyhound called Duke. Well Duke didn't cope too well when we had to leave him to go to work. Neil's reaction was "Well, you'll just have to bring him into the office with you then".
Was I hearing right? Yep, he genuinely meant it and I was so grateful. Not only had I finally got my childhood dream of having my own dog but to also have permissions to take it to work was like all my Christmas and birthday wishes had come true all at once.
Me and Neil had our own separate offices, but I shared mine with our work colleague Jon. I had a word with Duke before his first day in the office and explained that he had to be on his best behaviour.
Well it didn't take long before I realised Duke's farts were going to be a bit of a problem. I did my best to prevent the vile smell reaching Jon's desk by quickly opening my window but the stench coming out from Duke's backside was just too strong to hide.
One day, the commotion of Jon suffocating at his desk bought Neil to our door. I was trying to control my hysterical laughing / panic at being found out that my dog was in actual fact a stink bomb. Did Duke get evicted? No, of course not because Neil is a true diamond and is one of the loveliest people I have had the privilege to know.
In 2007, I got a new job in the Fire Service as sadly all of our jobs were at risk of redundancy. A few years later Neil eventually moved jobs too and became a sort of handyman for the Eden Project. When I say handyman, Neil was in his element creating all sorts of structures and fancy displays in his very own playground.
When Marty became ill and needed distracting, Neil got him out of the house to work a few hours at the Eden Project. Marty loved it and I didn't have to worry as I knew Neil would take good care of him while he was still on his chemo.
After Marty died I hadn't seen Neil for while and I literally bumped into him and Trish at the entrance of Tesco in St. Austell. After a lot of hugging, Neil told me he had been unwell. I could see in his eyes what he was about to tell me. Bowel Cancer. They'd caught it early and he was recovering well.
Then 2020 happened. Neil's cancer is back and sadly, his doctors can only help to prolong his life. It's an all too similar story to Marty's battle and I am devastated for Neil and Trish. Life is so cruel and no one deserves to go through this.
Both Neil and Trish are an inspirational couple and always manage to have a smile on their face despite the mountains they have both been climbing these past couple of years. They always find ways to be positive and I love being in their company because they are on my same wave length.
Neil couldn't make my walks in September so he has planned his own using my route at Crantock on 15 October, 10am, from the Beachcomber Cafe. We'd both like you to join us for one last walk if you can or donate / sponsor our cause at:
It's not going to be an easy 5 mile walk for Neil or Trish. If you'd like to find out more about them, take a look at Neil's blog: It's Cancer, Not Covid. It's a roller-coaster of a read, raw and real to living a life with cancer.
The tide timings and failing light for this walk were a little risky but I thought it would be fun and after all, the worst that could happen was the chance of getting wet feet and needing to use our phones as torches!
The last walk was completed by 5 of my dear friends Sarah, Andrew, Debbie, Shawn and my partner Ant. We got to the half way point and were so disappointed, as the café was just shutting - no ice cream were going to be consumed for this walk but boy did we make up for it at the end! We had a reservation at The Albion Inn in Crantock and the food was amazing, Marty would have most definitely approved!
I never really expected for so many people to join me in my walks and it really did surprise me at everyone's generosity at a such a difficult time. I only anticipated in raising around £200 so to have raised £935 for the 2020 Bowel Cancer UK Walk Together has blown me away. In total, my walks in memory of Marty have now raised a massive £1831.91. A huge thank you to everyone that has helped me achieve this.
For my 3rd walk on 20th September we were yet again blessed with amazing weather. It was the hottest one so far and the walk was completed by 31 people. I'd like to say a BIG thank you to Andrea, who is still recovering from her stage 3 Bowel Cancer but still managed to rally up lots of her friends and family to take part in Covid safe groups of 6 or less.
I'd also like to thank the Michelle and Richard for taking part with their gorgeous family and dogs, my dear friend Lucy and daughter Lily for being my support for the day and a new friend called Gemma, who had sadly lost her husband Kevin to this cruel cancer only 5 months ago. Kev was only 42 when he died and their story was sadly all too similar to that of Marty's.
During the walk, we took the time to reflect on our experiences and enjoyed some fun on the inventive handmade swings built into the trees - which made us feel 10 years old again.
We stopped and treated ourselves to a lovely lunch in Trenance Gardens and by the time we crossed the finish line and said our goodbyes, we had reached an amazing £680 for Bowel Cancer UK.
On Sunday 13th September, I walked another 5 miles for Bowel Cancer UK's Walk Together; this time with my family.
There are so many feelings and emotions that can go along with a family member being diagnosed with cancer. My guilt and feeling of being helpless never goes away so I'm always busying my mind with what I can do to help others and that's raising money for charity. If it helps in some small way to support research into cancer, or keep the Cornwall Hospice beds open, or help and care for sick and injured hedgehogs, then that's what I'll do.
We started at a different point on the walk due to the tide times, so it was quite nice for me being a bit different. On the way round I also placed 2 of my Hedgehog Rocks I paint for Prickles and Paws (P&P) Hedgehog Rescue to raise awareness of my spiky friends and it got found by a little boy called Lucas. This led to a £50 donation to the Hedgehog charity that I care very much about and it made my day. Another magical end to a beautiful day that I know Marty would have loved to have been apart of.
Onwards and upwards to my third socially distanced walk on Sunday 20th September with some more very special people and friends.
It's random moments like these that I treasure forever - the times when unexpected plans just seem to happen and fall into place - like you've planned it. I had such a beautiful and memorable day on Friday 4th September for the first of my walks for Bowel Cancer UK's Walk Together fundraiser.
I was already looking forward to the day because my best friend Penny was going to be walking the route with me and just before she arrived, the day was made even more special when 2 very dear friends visiting from Germany, were also able to take part in the walk with me. I hadn't told them about it, as their original plans meant they weren't going to be here for it - but thanks to the weather, their plans changed and on the morning of the walk, Thomas asked if he could stay one more night in their van. It was like it was meant to be and I told him about the walk and the rest is history. It was so unexpected but it was like it was meant to be. The whole day I can only describe as magical.
Connie and Thomas are very special to me, as they helped me and Marty through the three months we spent in Coswig, Germany, while Martyn underwent his 2 operations on his lungs to remove his secondary cancer. We lived in their holiday home and a very special friendship was formed. Me and Connie are very alike and despite not being able to talk to each other due to the language barrier, we have so much in common and communicate in other ways - often with the help of Thomas!
We were met at the start of the walk by a very special lady called Chrissie Jackson, who has been fundraising for a number of local causes since being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Sadly she was too unwell to walk with us but I am so grateful to her for coming along to see us off for the start. It really meant a lot to me.
Throughout the day, so many people were in my heart and mind including Chrissie, my friend Neil who was starting his first day of chemo for his stage 4 bowel cancer, my online friends that have sadly lost their lives to this disease, Marty's dad, who's birthday it was and my parents 44th wedding anniversary!
I'm absolutely bowled over by how much has been raised so far - £310 and would like to thank everyone for all of their support. I'm really looking forward to the next walk which I will be completing privately with my family one day next week and then the remaining 2 planned walks on Sunday 20th and Saturday 26th September.
If you'd like to take part or donate to the cause, please visit my Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/team/CornwallWalksTogether
It's only 3 days until my 1st 5mile walk for Bowel Cancer UK's Walk Together during September.
For anyone planning on socially distancing the walk with me on Friday 4th September, I'll be starting it from the Beachcomber Cafe at 10.30am (a little earlier then planned to make sure we can get parked).
Link to directions to the car park
The route: https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1221972
If you'd like to take part in the walk in your own time, I'd like that very much and would appreciate a small donation of your choice to the cause. To donate visit my JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising-edit/cornwallwalkstogether
Thanks to everyone that has donated so far, it really means a lot.
The next 2 walks will take place on:
Sunday 20th September - approx 10.30am
Saturday 26th September - approx 4.30pm
There's only three weeks to go until I set off on my first Walk Together Cornwall in Newquay around the Gannel.
If you would like to join me on one of my 5 mile walks around Crantock and the Gannel in Newquay, I have 3 dates you can choose from in September to walk it (socially distanced of course!). Timings will be be confirmed nearer the day:
- Friday 4th September (10.30am start)
- Sunday 20th September (approx 10.30am start
- Saturday 26th September (approximately 4.30pm start)
Bring a picnic with you or grab a bite to eat at the Lakeside Cafe or choice of pubs in Crantock at the end of the walk.
How to support the cause:
Take part with me!
Sponsor me and my family!
Request a painted rock
Since the start of the Bowel Cancer UK Walk Together events have taken place, my families Walk Together fundraising has so far raised £1,251.91 for the charity and we hope this year we can reach our £1,500 target.
All fundraising will help the charity continue to support patients with the disease, campaign to provide expert information and support to patients and their families, enable and support research into the disease, educate the public and professionals about the disease and to campaign for early diagnosis and access to best treatment and care across the UK.
If you have any questions or need some more information, please email me.
This year Bowel Cancer UK is suffering from the lack of fundraising events due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The charity have had to change their plans and can no longer hold these large events but it's not stopping their many supporters holding their own events!
This year I will be re-walking my 5 mile memory walk I held back in 2017, which treks across Newquay's river along the Gannel and I am inviting other people to take part (socially distanced) and make a donation of their choice to the charity to take part. Most of the walk is flat and it's breathtakingly beautiful and was one of mine and Marty's favourite places in Cornwall.
For anyone that can't make the walk, you can sponsor me to paint a rock, which I will drop at certain points of the walk to raise awareness of Bowel Cancer UK and to remember loved ones lost to any type of cancer. In return for your donation, I will photo your rock and send you a picture of where it's been placed. If you'd like to find out more or to request a rock, please email me at email@example.com
Dates for the walks
I want to try and raise as much money as possible for Bowel Cancer UK, so I have planned the following dates to give people plenty of options to take part and complete the 5 mile walk:
Timings for the walks
Timings for the walks will be confirmed nearer the event as we need the tide to be on its way out. As soon as I have confirmation of the tide times, I will update this page with the details.
Complete the walk in your own time
If you can't make the above dates or don't want to take part in the group walk but would still like to take part; for a donation of your choice to Bowel Cancer UK, I can provide you with an online GPS route of the walk, which you can access off of any smart phone and walk it in your own time. Just drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward on the details to you.
Find the hidden treasure!
To add a bit of fun, there will be a treasure box to find on the route with a little keepsake 'thank you' from me for your efforts of taking part.
How to donate / take part
To sponsor / take part in the Cornwall Walk Together, please visit my JustGiving page to donate: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cornwallwalkstogether
If you'd like to join in and help me fundraise for the walk as well, I'd love for you to join my team's JustGiving fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/team/CornwallWalksTogether
Is the walk dog friendly?
For me this is probably the most important question and I can confirm it is dog friendly! I will have my sweet Whippet x Collie with me who will be providing love and cuddles to all that want it (in return for tennis ball throwing - his words not mine!).
Marty would have been 40 today but he'll always be 34 and forever young. I cherish the memories and time we had together and he'll always be in my heart and mind.
Walk Together is a sponsored five mile walk to show support for those undergoing treatment, to remember loved ones and help stop people dying of bowel cancer.
During September Bowel Cancer UK normally hold their nationwide Walk Together events where hundreds of people come together to walk five miles.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic they've had to change their plans and can no longer hold these large events.
However they’d still love you to walk with them, so this September they're asking you to walk five miles in your own time, at your own pace in your local area, with your household or within small (socially distant) groups.
The Bowel Cancer UK fundraising team will be on hand to help you plan a great walk with tips and advice and a competition for the whole family to get involved.
If you would like to take part Walk Together 2020, sign up using the button below.
In the next few weeks I will be sharing details of my 5 mile memory walk I will be completing in September with my family in Cornwall. If you want to take part but need a walk set out for you then I can guarantee you will love this walk!
"Our vision is a future where nobody dies of bowel cancer but we can’t achieve this alone. Join us and lets Walk Together this September."
I completed the 2019 Bowel Cancer UK Walk Together in London with Ant and The Hobbits. Charlie was a 🌟 for his first time in the city and on his trip on the tube. Thanks to everyone that has sponsored us past and present.
Our current tally raised to date for Bowel Cancer UK is £877!
Here's some photos from the event in London - See you back in 2020!
On Sunday July 7 2019, I turned 39 and chose to celebrate it by taking part in the Truro 5K Race for Life with some friends. I decorated my tshirt ran my heart out in memory of Marty and met some amazing people along the way, including one of the Colorectal Cancer Nurses Marty had a soft spot for called Candy. It made my day and was so lovely to get so much encouragement and a hug off of her.
When a loved one is diagnosed with a disease, your life is completely transformed - you question why them and not you and your dreams get broken. You meander through a myriad of unwanted emotions and are sent on a testing and very scary roller-coaster. You find yourself reflecting on your ‘previous’ life – one untarnished by cancer – and punish yourself.
1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Every single pound that is donated to Cancer Research UK can make a difference to their groundbreaking work.
Where does your money go?
Each step we make towards beating cancer relies on each pound donated. Here are some examples of how the money you donate / have donated can help:
Since moving into the month of April, it has bought with it Bowel Cancer Awareness month, which will always trigger pain and upset but it also fills me with an a ray of positive messages, awareness and support across the Bowel Cancer UK charity network - which I am very proud to be apart of and support.
One lady; who I've met through the charity and admire and love a lot is Deborah James (Aka the Bowel Babe), who has given me the nudge I needed to finally sign myself up for my first ever 5K run at the Truro Race For Life. The run falls on my birthday and I couldn't think of a better time to take part in it with friends supporting me. I have chosen a very appropriate team name called 'We've got the Birthday runs', so watch this space for photos and an update on the how the event goes in July.
Find out more details about my 5K birthday run here.
I'm very pleased to be able to share that this week, Bowel Cancer UK launched a fantastic but simple new tool that could help people that find themselves in the same situation as Marty did. The charity has collaborated with one of their supporters, Beth Purvis, to launch a symptoms diary for people that are worried about their bowel habits.
Research has shown that younger bowel cancer patients; like Marty, have a very different experience of diagnosis, treatment and care which is why this new tool will be so valuable to others.
If you are worried about your bowel habits, then download the symptoms diary and take it with you to your next GP appointment.
Read more about Beth's story and the aim of the symptoms diary below:
(Information has been taken direct from the charity website)
Beth was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer at 37 years old. The main symptoms she experienced were constipation and diarrhoea with significant bleeding from her bottom. Her GP put it down to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), but Beth believes if she was keeping a diary of her symptoms her GP would have taken her seriously and referred her for further testing sooner. She may have been diagnosed at an earlier stage when treatment has the best chance of working and a greater chance of survival.
The symptoms diary, pioneered by Beth and supported by Coloplast, aims to help keep track of a person’s symptoms before they visit their GP. This will give a good indication to their doctor whether they need further tests. Patients may not remember all their symptoms during the short appointment so having something written down can be useful.
Every year almost 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK, making it the fourth most common cancer and second biggest cancer killer. However it shouldn’t be because it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. Although bowel cancer is more common in the over 50s it can affect people of all ages, more than 2,500 people under 50 are diagnosed with the disease in the UK every year.
Beth Purvis says: “I spoke to my GP two years before my diagnosis but was told that it was probably IBS. They just told me that I should try and live with it if I could but to come back if my symptoms got worse. I was in so much pain that I went to A&E and was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer.
“I had surgery to remove the tumour followed by chemotherapy for six months, but suffered from severe damage to my nerves, which has still not gone away. The following year a routine scan revealed spots on my lungs and I’m now diagnosed at stage four and have been told I’m now considered incurable. I have had surgery on my lungs to remove the tumours and I’m back on chemotherapy in the hope that the treatment will prevent further spread and keep the cancer at bay to extend my life.
“I hope this symptoms diary will help to either rule out bowel cancer or that a person will be diagnosed with the disease early when treatment has the best chance of working.”
Lauren Wiggins, Director of Services at Bowel Cancer UK, says: “We’re delighted to work with Beth on this symptoms diary. It’s for people that are worried about their symptoms and want to keep track of them before they visit their GP. Most people with bowel symptoms don’t have bowel cancer, but if you have one or more symptoms, or if things just don’t feel right, visit your GP with your completed symptoms diary."
I can't believe it's been 4 years since Marty died. I can hand on heart say that there hasn't been one day since he passed away that I haven't thought about him. I re-live the happy memories daily and try to shut out the night terrors. He will always be in my thoughts and no one will ever be able to take away what we had with each other. It has taken me four year's to finally feel at peace with myself and to feel genuinely happy again and be able to talk without feeling I should be ashamed of myself.
I've made discoveries about life; good and bad where some things have saddened me but it has taught me a lot and I'm grateful for those that have given me strength and encouragement; some who are complete strangers like BowelBabe - Deborah James, who's book I can recommend reading '**** You Cancer'.
When Marty was diagnosed with bowel cancer it felt like the life we had and planned for had been ripped from underneath us and was the hardest thing I've ever have to face, but at least then we had each other. After Martyn died, I found myself alone and scared of the future.
A lot has happened since Marty died and I'm still here living and breathing thanks to my partner Ant, some really good friends and family. I'd like to thank Zoe; my work colleague and now dear friend, for supporting me and reading my endless paperwork, letters and responses when I fought for justice for the unacceptable treatment Marty had from certain individual GP's at Probus doctor's surgery, who severely let him, me and his family down. I took on the fight for Marty and his family and I found it sole destroying and it nearly killed me. One day I hit a barrier; I had isolated myself in the fight, was exhausted from trying to do and deal with too many things and I had nothing left to give.
Not only was I solely taking on the medical council, I was working full time in a mentally demanding job, moving out from the beautiful home Marty built because there were too many painful memories, starting a holiday let, helping my family with my dearly beloved granddad, trying to be a good step mum to Ant's children who he has custody of, which generally involved me pretending everything was ok! Ant's children were and have been amazing throughout all of these past four years and their maturity at the situation me and Ant found ourselves in is admirable. They have bought light into my life and given me so much joy, laughter and all the other things bringing up a family come with.
After Zoe recognised a visible decline with my mental health, she helped me finally see and admit I was torturing myself for all that had happened with Martyn. She gave me the strength and encouragement to seek extra help in August 2017 and I'm eternally grateful to her and my other friends that supported me during this time. It took 6 months to be seen by a counsellor from Cruse Bereavement Care and a guy called Kevin counselled me back to a state of good mental health. I never believed the counselling would make a difference due to the amount I've had in the past, but it did and I feel like me again after 7 long years of pain and suffering. At the end of my last session Kevin thanked me, as in his profession he admitted I was very challenging to help! This made me laugh and I really appreciated his honesty. I really respected Kevin for saying this as that in itself really helped me accept all that I have been through in life has been horrific and it's now time to start being kinder and taking of myself.
I'm thankful to Marty's mum and dad; Linda, Tony and his granny who mean the world to me and have always treated me like a daughter with the same love and care since Marty died. I thank Lana for sending me the most random snapshots and making me smile when I see what her two gorgeous children and dog Dexter have been up to. I thank Lucy and Penny for sending the most silliest of videos of Marty and me from their collection. One of my closest friends Sarah and Andrew for our 'group' counselling sessions which always brings us to tears and laughter over a bottle of fizz or two. There's so many more of you I'd like to mention but there's just too many to put here! Basically, if you've been in my life the past 4 years thank you!
Last but not least I'd like to thank Ant who has helped me to cherish the life I have been given. He is no longer my brother-in-law but my partner and I am not ashamed to say that.
Ant, you have been my rock when I've needed it the most. You have picked me up when I've been down and you're the world's best fixer of anything! You gave me the confidence to do what I had only ever dreamed of doing - to pass my motorbike test. We have had the most amazing adventures, many with the kids which I will cherish forever and I can't wait for more. Your laid back 'Mr Cool' approach to dealing with life's challenges is remarkable and I want to thank you for being so head strong and sticking with me through thick and thin. You have taught me so much and my love for you just keeps growing stronger every day. We're a team and we're living both our dreams, which I know Marty would be so happy with.
Life has taught me it's too short not to deal with the emotions we feel. Grief can effect you in the strangest of ways and for some, not in a positive way. There is no time limit or rules on what is right or wrong and people should never judge because you will never know the pain and suffering that has led them to the path they are on. Happiness is something that we all strive for. While it’s nearly impossible to rid negative thoughts, people and situations altogether (we’ll always have good and bad days), we can choose to strip away the parts of our life that bring us down and instead refocus that energy towards being the best versions of ourselves.
Marty is around us everyday and he has blessed us with the love we share today and he wouldn't want anything less then that.
Here's to you Marty - forever in my heart.
On 15 September 2018, me, Ant and my mum, dad and sister all took part in the Bowel Cancer UK Walk Together event in London.
Team Hobbs / Matthews all felt a little apprehensive when we pledged that we would try and raise £60 each in sponsorship for the charity. None of us felt we would be able to achieve this, however, thanks to some very supportive close friends and family we reached our target! Between us we raised £435 to help Bowel Cancer UK continue their vital work to save lives and improve the quality of life of everyone affected by bowel cancer. The current fundraising total for the London walk is an absolutely incredible £36,611. Across all the Walk Together events has already raised almost £46,000. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has donated money to the charity, as seeing the positive outcomes they are achieving and working towards gives me great comfort that their work is helping others with this disease.
All fundraising will help the charity continue to support patients with the disease, campaign to provide expert information and support to patients and their families, enable and support research into the disease, educate the public and professionals about the disease (which was so important to Marty) and to campaign for early diagnosis and access to best treatment and care across the UK.
As you'll be able to see from the photos below, it was a beautiful day and the walk along the Thames was full of amazing sights and culture, where we got to meet and talk to some very inspiring and courageous people - just like Marty.
I crossed the finish line with my mum, Ant and the CEO of Bowel Cancer UK - Deborah Alsina (Dad and Rachel got there before us!) and we were greeted by staff and volunteers from the charity, some of which I have never met but who have helped me to channel the pain and trauma of what me and Marty went through by raising awareness to others.
At the end of the walk, it was incredibly humbling for me to be introduced to Deborah James; who I have been following on Instagram (known as BowelBabe); who I'm very fond of and deeply admire, has stage 4 bowel cancer. Deborah has a story very similar to Marty's and through her own awareness of the disease, she's given me great strength and courage to overcome some of the personal difficulties I've faced. You can find out more about Deborah's story here.
I'd like to wish everyone taking part in the final walk in Belfast this Saturday 29 September good luck and hope you have some nice weather. I'll update here once the charity releases how much in total has been raised.
I have chosen to do my second year's walk in memory of Marty in London, along the River Thames - a place we visited often together. One of my most memorable trips was when I took Marty's to see one of the biggest exhibitions ever of the original props and costumes from the Star Wars films and taking him on the London Eye; which he also enjoyed the experience, even though he never left his seat because he had a fear of heights!
Earlier this year, myself and half a million people supported Lauren Backler by signing a petition to the then Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jeremy Hunt MP calling for a change in the bowel cancer screening age in England.
Well, we did it!
Following a comprehensive review of the evidence, the committee recommends that screening should be offered from aged 50 to 74 using the new and more accurate screening test, the faecal immunochemical test (FIT) at a sensitivity level of 20ug/g. FIT at this level has the potential to detect twice as many cancers and four times as many adenomas.
The sensitivity of FIT to detect blood in poo can be adjusted to be more or less accurate. Adjusting the sensitivity threshold determines the number of people who will be referred for colonoscopy. The lower the threshold, the more sensitive the test is to blood. However, this also means more people who have traces of blood in their poo but who don’t have bowel cancer will be referred for a colonoscopy.
FIT will be rolled out to the current eligible population from this autumn in England before the screening age is lowered. The test is already being used in Scotland from age 50. Wales has committed to roll-out FIT from January 2019 and Northern Ireland has yet to make a public commitment.
Bowel Cancer UK's CEO; Deborah Alsina has highlighted that this of course doesn't help people under 50 but the charities 'Never2Young' campaign aims to address this. I am keeping a close watch on any developments with this campaign and will update here with any developments whilst continuing to raise the awareness of bowel cancer in young people.
Following the merger of Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer in January 2018, today (Wednesday 1 August 2018) the charity revealed the new name, brand and video.
Last year, I planned the first charity walk in memory of Marty around one of his most favourite places in Cornwall - Crantock and the River Gannel. It was a gorgeous day and tickets sales for the walk raised a massive £661.91 for Bowel Cancer UK. I also fund raised £275 in sponsorship for Jason Bragg (a local lad, aged 26 who had been diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer). This year I'm joining the forces of the charities main London's Walk Together, on Saturday 15 September and would like to welcome anyone that would like to take part to join me and my family to remember Marty and meet some amazing people that are still fighting bowel cancer or remembering their loved ones.
About the London Walk Together
The walk along the Thames will present you with some of the most iconic sights with the London Park to Park walk. Taking place between Southwark and Embankment, you’ll get to enjoy the Tower of London, South Bank, St Paul's Cathedral and much more!
Join me and sign up here for the London walk
Other walks taking place in September
If you can't make this walk, maybe you'd like to walk one of the following:
Starting from Belvoir Park Forest, walk in a circular route through the diverse woodlands, along the tow path towards Shaw's Bridge taking in the beautiful surroundings and historic estate of Lagan Valley Regional Park.
Buy tickets for the Walk Together Belfast
Join us on this glorious five mile Cardiff Bay circular route, as we leave the restaurants and bars for the beautiful scenery of the Cardiff barrage. Passing the iconic landmarks of the Welsh Millennium Centre, The Pierhead Building, Norwegian Church and The Senedd, this flat route is perfect for the whole family to enjoy.
Buy tickets for the Walk Together Cardiff
See the heart of the city and journey through Edinburgh’s hidden asset, The Water of Leith. Starting from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Modern Two and finishing at The Shore, Leith; join us to discover the wonderful gems in Scotland’s capital.
Buy tickets for the Walk Together Edinburgh
Earlier this month, I got creative in the kitchen and made some Bowel Cancer UK themed cakes to sell at work for Bowel Cancer Awareness month. £30 was raised for the charity, but most importantly helped to raise the awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer. Thanks to everyone that was brave enough to have one and to Amber who helped me make them.
Thankfully the sun came out and the walk in memory of Marty took place on Saturday 23 September, which raised a massive £661.91 for Bowel Cancer UK. My sponsorship for Jason Bragg (local lad, aged 26 who has been diagnosed with bowel cancer) has raised £275. Linda was a true star for this and without her help, I wouldn't have been able to raise as much as I did.
Thank you to everyone that donated money and came to do the walk with me. I know Marty was there with us in spirit. Also thanks to my friends Emma, Steve and Sienna who couldn't make it to Cornwall but did the London walk instead and raised £200 for Bowel Cancer UK.
Below are some photos from the walk and a couple of my favourite memories of Marty at Crantock.
Linda (Marty's mum) never seizes to amaze me. When she found out about the walk I was planning, she jumped straight in and wanted to help by putting up my posters and rally around to get some sponsorship to help and support Jason Bragg and his family, who are from St. Austell and at the age of 26 has been diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Jason works at my place of work and is an on-call firefighter. I've not met him myself but when I heard their news, it brought me to tears. Both me and Martyn were embraced by the support of friends and family when they rallied around to help raise some money to go towards Marty's surgery costs in Germany. I know how much that helped to ease the financial pressures and emotional roller-coaster we found ourselves on.
I don't know how much money yet has been raised from the sponsorship side of the walk for Jason, but I do know I have Linda to thank and all the people local to us for supporting the cause. Thank you to each and every one of you for your kindness and generosity.
If you would like to find out more about Jason, please visit the Just Giving web page that has been set up for him at: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jason-bragg
There's less then a week to go before the 5 mile walk where proceeds from the registration fee to take part will be donated to my other chosen cause - Bowel Cancer UK.
Money raised for both causes will be updated on here shortly.
Blog - Never too Young
This blog is to carry on Marty's fighting spirit and help raise awareness of bowel cancer to others. It is also a place for you to share any of the things you have done or are doing in memory of him.