Once again Rotary Monmouth in collaboration with Chepstow and Ross on Wye Rotary clubs are organising Walk The Wye on 16th May in support of cancer research carried out at Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff. Thousands of people up and down the country have benefited from Cancer research at Velindre, which develops new therapies and treatments, especially for breast cancer. We have asked women and men who have benefited from the work at Velindre, supported by Rotary Monmouth, to come forward and share their experiences with us. Almost everybody knows somebody who has been affected by cancer either directly or through people they know.
Here is Angharad’s story:
“So “how is the cancer thing” someone recently asked. Yes, that cancer thing - that day when you’re told you have cancer and your world implodes. And the day that you’re told you are going to have chemo and your world shatters into a thousand more pieces. Those days when you can’t look at your kids without tears, can’t stop looking at your kids in case you don’t have long to look at them. To love them. To be part of their lives. To teach them to be strong and independent. To hold them so close and never let go. Yes, that “cancer thing”!
I’m a lucky one. I was diagnosed, I was treated and fingers crossed I’ll be here for a good while. My Dad left it too late, he was too male, too unwilling to make a fuss. He “manned up” and is no longer with us apart from in our thoughts every day.
Velindre, I had feared. After all, my Dad had died. My first visit was terrifying but I soon realised that it’s a miraculous place, packed with brilliant people making the abnormal normal, the most horrible treatment bearable. I knew from the very start that I wanted to give back, to these precious angels that hold so many of our dreams.
My son, 8 at the time, challenged me to a Zipslide after my treatment, and within a few weeks we had a date booked, over a 100 people signed up and we were busily contacting everyone for raffle prizes, auction prizes, to sing, play, do challenges. To celebrate! Having an event to organise gave me a positive focus, and for my friends too – a date to look forward to. Being self-employed, I worked through as much of my treatment as I could, I found that by sharing the event, it gave everyone a chance to get involved, including my customers. So many of their Mums, Aunts, Sisters and daughters have had/will have breast cancer and will be treated at Velindre.
Giving back for me is part of the process. My Dad kept quiet about his symptoms. Shouting about them saves lives.
At Velindre they hold your hand and tell you straight, they put a blanket round you, and give you the tools to tell your kids. Velindre is forever in my heart, and I will always be fundraising for them.
Here is Sue’s story:
“Having gone from extremely fit to metastatic cancer (in metastatis, cancer cells break away from where they first formed, travel through the blood or lymph system and form new tumours in other parts of the body) in the space of a month, I can now reflect that research/Velindre have given me a second life. Without the benefit of research I would have had 4 months to live.
The staff at Velindre are all ace. Hard working, dedicated and relentless in their efforts to help. Secretaries, receptionists, specialist nurses, phlebotomists, oncologists, they all contribute to an amazing help and support system.
Covid has highlighted the NHS but these NHS workers have been quietly working miracles on a daily basis for many years and will continue to do so.
Please enjoy your walk and give as you are able. Research may help you or you loved ones one day. From an endlessly grateful patient. Sue”
Please support Velindre by selecting a walk, sponsoring a walker or donating
Velindre is supported by many organisations including Rotary Monmouth. We have been supporting Velindre Cancer Centre’s research for 12 years now through the running of Walk The Wye. Each year some 300-400 walkers join us for a day’s walk (from 3 miles to 13 miles) by the beautiful river Wye around Monmouth. Walkers pay a nominal fee which goes to Velindre and other local charities in Monmouth. Each walker is encouraged to get sponsorship from friends and family and some even take part in fancy dress! Pets and children are also welcome, making it a family occasion! It is a great day out in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with a lovely feeling of fellowship and shared experiences. Free car parking is available at the Monmouth Showground.
To protect you and ourselves we are complying with Covid-19 social distancing requirements throughout from the moment you arrive. Catering may be available if allowed by government on the day.
Why not join us for a lovely day out with friends and family and raise money to help defeat cancer? Walk the Wye 27th September 2020.