It’s coming up to that time of year again, where all the women throw on their pink shirts, dedicating their exercise to their loved ones who are still here, and in many cases are not. Race for Life is the incredible run that raises money for cancer, something that truly touches everybody in some way or another.
I’ll be taking part this year on July 19 at Houghton Hall along with the rest of the KLFM crew supporting us along the way.
I’ve tried to run it every year that I can, well I say run, I did attempt! I can say I at least managed the last 100 metres. The last time I took part, I raced with my mum, aunty Delores and my cousin Erin. When it came to those last 100 metres, Erin and I decided to push through and run. I can tell you every step was for my nan. Whilst I had tears streaming down my face, every bit of hurt and anger came out in each thud. I looked over at Erin and could see she felt the same. We were doing this for her.
Now my nan was a funny one. It’s been almost four years since she died, and I still remember every little thing about her. Her laughter, her gossip, every time she’d say ‘eh?’ to make sure she was heard. She was just the centre of the family, the gravity that pulled us all together.
I also remember exactly when I was told, and exactly how I felt at the time. It’s like a punch to the stomach even now. It was Valentine’s day 2012, I’d just been to the funfair when I was called into the living room.
‘Cancer?’ I said, ‘Why? How? What can we do?’
My mum just shook her head. There was nothing more that could be done.
That monster disease that still takes mothers, fathers, grandparents, children... It’s still out there, taking those we love.
It’s so very hard to write this now and not well up. I will never get over those looks, and how my last words to her were ‘I love you nanny. I’ll miss you.’
I didn’t even get to tell her I got into university.
A week before my 18th birthday.
The saying goes that you don’t treasure what you have until it’s gone. I’ve always treasured my nanny, don’t get me wrong, but when she passed away, a little piece of me died too. You did this Cancer. So now we’ll beat you. You will not darken our doors anymore. One day, we will beat cancer.
To sponsor me, you can go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ashleightuttle anything you can give would be amazing.