Run for Her: A Mann’s Tale

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A ballet audition (not mine, obviously) in the morning and a flight to Italy (most definitely mine) in the afternoon meant that I had to delay my participation in this year’s Run for Her, the Annual Los Angeles 5K Run & Friendship Walk, which took place on 11 November.


Walking the walk in sunny Essex

As previously reported, Run for Her is held each year to raise funds for the fight against ovarian cancer, a particularly tough variant of a disease that in all its forms will affect one in every three lives.

This year’s event, sponsored by DFS Group through its ‘Sleepwalkers around the World’ theme, has already raised around US$900,000 and is set to break through the million Dollar barrier in coming days – a staggering sum that will help so many who fall prey to this disease. DFS Group’s support came about due to the struggle one of its own team was having with the disease – Lynn Arce, Vice President Global Creative and Consumer Marketing, who has successfully completed her treatment at the Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles.

I have never met Lynn, not face-to-face, anyway, but that scarcely matters. I know what a pillar of strength she was to my friend and employer Martin, when he was ill. She was also an incredible support to me, when I found myself trying to co-ordinate and promote the inaugural Moodie Multi-National Marathon, in 2011, in support of Hand in Hand for Haiti.


DFS Group’s Lynn Arce

Lord alone knows what her own workload must have been like, but Lynn still found time, via e-mail, to praise my efforts, rave about my Blogs and generally instil an unshakeable belief that the event would be a success. I hope one day I get the chance to say thank you in person.

On Sunday, I tried to show my appreciation via another method, by covering 5K as part of my belated Run for Her efforts. Regular readers of this Blog will know I’m no runner, and covering the 7.03km as part of the Moodie in (Slow) Motion team in this year’s Moodie Multi-National Marathon in June nearly finished me off.

Five months on, the combination of Press Trip Liver (if it doesn’t exist, it should), adult-onset asthma, a dodgy hamstring and a newfound allergy to exercise did not bode well, but thankfully, this event is billed as a 5K Run & Friendship Walk – so, hurrah, clad in blue, Walk I did.

To be honest, even my walking wasn’t fast, and it was nearly dark by the time I’d finished. But on a glorious autumnal day, in Essex, I walked around Norsey Woods for Lynn – and for everyone else who is fighting this disease. And while I walked, I remembered all those I’ve lost to cancer: this year alone that includes my father, and one of my closest friends from Uni days, whose death left her six-year old motherless.

Initiatives like Run for Her are trying to limit such losses, by raising much-needed money and awareness. It’s a big ask, against a formidable foe, and they deserve every iota of support they can muster. Fund-raising continues until 31 December. Please donate if you can: http://runforher.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1019200

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