Cancer was a disease that happened to other people and other peoples families until about six years ago and since then it has been a roller-coaster of pain and despair. Last October I lost my best man and best friend Des to cancer, and to honour the inspirational man he was, I wanted to do something in his name, and raise funds for Cancer Research UK at the Scottish Half Marathon and running events throughout the year.
Des was initially diagnosed with liver and bowel cancer, and when he was diagnosed he went through a range of emotions like everyone would, but Des had a positive vibe that would light up a room. He began to fight this disease in his positive manner which was difficult to witness, but his positivity and fight was rewarded as he entered into a period of remission.
However, after this period of remission, the cancer returned to his lungs and ribs. The terminology changed, and it was obviously tough to deal with the non-curable future. Being the man he was, and what he meant to people even during his toughest moments, he was surrounded by a magnitude of family, friends and of course his rock, his wife Sasha.
Des had an immeasurable impact on so many lives including my own, his zest for life all too obvious, with every single thing he did. He took challenges on with immense positivity…and as long as people continue to remember him, continue to speak of him, and continue to love him…then Des will never ever truly be gone. His battle with cancer was faced up with great dignity, positivity, detail, emotion and through his fight, he still was more interested in everyone else’s life and plans. He was both interesting and interested.
Des’ immense positivity and fight inspired me to make a difference and take part in more running events for Cancer Research UK. This is my fifth year running on behalf of Cancer Research UK having completed the Great North Run in 2014 after my step mother Julia was diagnosed with Cancer, but Des’ fight made me want to do more. The need to find new and better ways of detection, diagnoses and treatment for us all to be able to control, fight and overcome cancer is essential and thus research must be funded. The rate of survival and the percentage of families who will be affected needs to be brought to levels where we turn the tables. As I want to do my own small effort in helping raise funds to find better, quicker means of controlling and curing this horrible disease that rips families apart.
The charity has been very good in supporting my efforts and fundraising in providing support before, during and after events. I have done running challenges before and it is my way of dedicating my own time, commitment and physical pain in completing events in memory of all our loved ones taken away from us due to cancer. I wanted to do a year’s worth of events including the Scottish Half Marathon to keep the story, my physical efforts and fundraising open for a longer time.
I am concentrating on putting enough training and effort into all the months leading up to this event to deal with the physical aspects of the run. The finish line will be a personal reflection and no doubt emotional moment in dedicating my efforts towards Des. I am sure he will be proud of the achievement and the work to fight this horrible disease.
Read more and donate on Alasdair’s JustGiving page here.