In between my hectic social life, recovery from chemo, and numerous cancer related meetings, my time was spent trying to raise some funds for the three charities I try and support; www.BowelCancerUK.org.uk , www.TheMulberryCentre.co.uk , and www.CancerActive.com . I really felt the need to try and give a little back to those that do so much to help people like me, and at the same time had a desire to create some sort of event that could continue after my potential demise. I am fortunate enough to have a loving family and a good group of friends, who are all supportive and I have to give them a heartfelt thanks for being so helpful and generous.

Due to the timing of chemo, likely attendance, fitness levels, and possible lung surgery, the three events we organised all fell within a few weeks of each other!

The Bowel Bloke Cup – 29th August

I wanted to create an event that would remain long after I’m gone, to raise money for charity and remember me at the same time. Partly inspired by the loss of a dear friend of mine, and the relatively chaotic attempts by me and his friends to organise just a simple meal to honour his memory, I thought a charity golf day would at least have a chance of becoming an annual event.

I managed to get 44 grown men to eat a bacon roll, play 18 holes of golf, get changed, and have lunch together. It was surprisingly harder than I had imagined! The Royal Automobile Club hosted, and the day was a great success, raising nearly £14k for the three charities. I was overwhelmed.

London to Brighton Charity Cycle – 15th September

My sister really wanted to do something to raise a few quid for the charities. So, she volunteered to do a cycle with her friend, somewhere in Devon. 4 days, 250 miles. This is a 47-year-old women who doesn’t cycle, has never cycled, and spends most evenings eating a family bar of Dairy Milk. Don’t get me wrong, Liz is trim, fit and healthy, but 250 miles?

I think it dawned on her that this might be too big a challenge while we considered which sort of bike she would need, and the level of training required to achieve this. Unlike her Great Northern Run success some years before, you can’t “wing” a 250-mile bike ride.

So, we hatched a new plan. The Mulberry Centre had offered me some places on an organised event, cycling from Clapham to Brighton. 55 miles. You could just about wing it. Oh, except for the climb up Ditchling Beacon. That is a bastard of a hill.

We recruited some of our cycling pals, and a few sado-masochists who were happy to keep us company, and with about 4 weeks’ notice managed to acquire a bike or two, squeezed into the relevant lycra, and got in enough training to give us the illusion that Ditchling would be a walk in the park.

It was a glorious sunny day as Team Mulberry’s 11 supreme athletes made our way through the streets of London and the lanes of East Sussex on our way to the coast. Everyone managed to get up Ditchling, not necessarily on two wheels, and then cruise into Brighton to receive our medals. All winners J and a great success, raising over £5k for a brilliant charity.