Friday, 1 July 2011

Its OK to be not OK?

Yesterday was really amazing. In a store near Glasgow I met 38 of Marks and Spencer senior managers who were leaving to do the 5 peaks in 48 hours. Yes you got that right from the top of Scotland to the south of Ireland in two days climbing 5 mountains. And they are doing it still as I write this blog. ( Keep safe guys!) In the stores across the country they are supporting their target of a Million pounds raised for our pioneering research at Breakthrough Breast cancer and The Marie Keating Foundation in Ireland.
They set off yesterday with confidence, spirit and maybe a little trepidation but with a real sense that as a strong team they will achieve it. Impressive on so many levels and credit to themselves and their organisation. M&S has been integral part of Breakthrough’s success over many years-thank you for this and for continuing to see the importance of what we achieve for people affected by breast cancer. Do support them by contributing to all the staff activities at stores across the UK and Ireland this weekend if you can. It will save lives!

Watching these heroes ( and they are) I thought of some of the conversations  I have had in recent weeks with others affected by cancer and other conditions too. Often we hear the heroic stories that people have achieved fighting whilst coming to terms with their conditions and sometimes during challenging treatments and we are awed by them-and rightly so. They are channeling their own mountains to climb into helping others and hopefully helping themselves as well. But each of our challenges are so individual. I know I am building up again to walking to work but I am at a snails pace just now. I think of Jane Tomlinson who ran marathons with advanced breast cancer and I want to kick myself but that’s just not me. I know that for others writing this blog would be a major challenge for them in these circumstances, where as for me it helps and I enjoy putting these thoughts down-they are out of my head then. And lets face it I can do it without mussing up my hair (more of that later!).

So here’s to the every day heroes who do so well when they have made it into work when its not easy, who have got a meal on the table for the family, who have got out of bed every morning, who have climbed their own mountains whatever they are. And also remember sometimes the greatest courage is displayed when you are able to say I am not sure I can do this without support/more time off/half days at work etc. You are all my heroes too. I would say the wind beneath my wings but in spite of myself that song always makes me cry. And that’s something I am a bit prone to just now ( no change there I hear my family call!).

So reasons to be cheerful are those great people I met yesterday of course. I also had my hair dome and its looking great and almost making up for the cold sore on my face :-( But also I am going to a wedding on Saturday, which will be fabulous. It will mean time with special friends in the wonderful setting of Loch Lomond. Can’t wait and hope the sun shines on them all.

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