On March 4, I am taking part in the ‘Marsden March’ 5k walk to raise funds for The Royal Marsden’s magnificent cancer research and care efforts.
Each year, thousands of people take part in the walk between the two Royal Marsden hospitals in Chelsea and Sutton, choosing between a 14-mile route or the shorter 5-mile option. As I will have just clambered off a plane from Hong Kong (and am now reaching senior citizen status…) I have chosen the shorter journey.
Patients, ex-patients, families, friends of the hospital, consultants, nurses and others take part.
The Marsden March started in 2011 and since then has raised over £10 million. The money raised goes towards improving the lives of everyone affected by cancer, in the UK and around the world.
Why am I doing this? Simple. I am a cancer survivor. I’ve just had another (minor) scrape with it. And I have lost numerous friends, family and industry colleagues to this terrible disease. A great industry friend, Maurice Burke, who had beaten the disease when I was diagnosed and helped immensely in me beating it, is battling the bully again. I will walk for him and for many others.
My life was saved by the incredible team at The Royal Marsden, led by Professor David Cunningham. I was diagnosed in June 2010 with stomach cancer and underwent chemotherapy and a full gastrectomy (complete stomach removal), plus a splenectomy (spleen removal).
My successful treatment stemmed from critical research into gastric cancers, much of it led by the Royal Marsden. Since then I have been committed to raising funds to help the Royal Marsden help others. Over the years The Moodie Davitt has given and raised several hundred thousand pounds for the cause and we’re not finished yet.
Now you might say that walking 5k is not very far. And you’d be right. But believe me, if I had thought back in those dark days of 2010 that I would be doing it eight years on while in robust health, I would have been euphoric. Those eight years of life have given me the opportunity to see my younger children grow up, one of my two older ones married, experience countless wonderful times with friends and family, and of course have the chance to continue The Moodie Davitt Report’s wonderful journey.
Cancer – all cancers – will ultimately be defeated. We need to stand up to this bully of a disease. Research is the key. Please help me to help this life-affirming fight by The Royal Marsden.
Here’s my fund-raising page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/smartinmoodie
I seldom ask for anything back from our industry but this time I am. Not for me, but for The Royal Marsden and for a cause that affects all of us. Thank you.