One small step for Relay, one giant leap for cancer

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Hello my name is Amelia. Today I helped my Grandad and many many others like him.

In April this year I was given the horrendous news that my Step-father had been diagnosed with Cancer. Probably the most frightening word in the English dictionary.

Many tests were taken and advice from specialists was sought. Several worrying week later and my Step-father was given the best news he could hope to have received, which was, his cancer was all contained within one organ, and  hopefully can be removed with an operation.

During this period I discovered the Dumfries and Galloway Relay for life charity event, was to be held in Wigtown (our local town) in July. It occurred to me I had an opportunity to help raise funds for this tremendous cause. I couldn’t fix my Stepdad, but I could help raise money to fund the experts that are discovering cures to cancers, to hopefully save many, many, many more lives.

My Daughter Amelia now aged 14 months, has the most unusual Bottom-shuffle-hop movement for getting around the house and garden. She does laps around the house, equating to hundreds of metres a day….and being incredibly cute I thought I would volunteer her to do one lap of the relay field as she could raise more money than I could, by doing something that she loves (shuffling around at speed) Having been welcomed by the organisers to take part, a friends Mother suddenly died, days after being diagnosed with Cancer. I wanted to do the relay in her name too ‘Christina Kekewich’.

Today just happened to be the day of the Relay…. I woke to find it had been raining through the night, this meant the ground would be wet for Amelia’s bottom-shuffling lap! I didn’t have a wet field plan, nor waterproof trousers, so this morning I cut the sleeves off my waterproof jacket and fashioned them into a pair of trousers for her. I arrived at the event at 2pm with my Stepdad and Mum as support crew. (This made the day even more special). On seeing the field It hit me as to quite how big a lap of it was. I was a little concerned I had committed Amelia to a mammoth task!

She started off by walking with the aid of my hand and my Mothers. There was a short distance of bottom-shuffling followed by examination of the grass, fence posts, and people. We were lapped 4 times before we saw more movement. I took a turn of crawling with Amelia on my back, but for just a few yards until she was ready to take the lead again. more walking saw us to the half way point where we stopped for refreshments, before continuing again. There were more breaks in the second half, with a crawling ride from Granny this time, and cuddles with her dolly. Just near the end we were joined by close friends who cheered her on until we made the last corner……. now this is where it got really emotional for me. A samba band had been playing for the crowds entertainment, when the DJ (another dear friend) comparing the event saw us coming and announced Amelia was on the home straight and asked the samba band to play her home. I’m still emotional just thinking about it! Amelia was fascinated by the band and continued walking to the finish line but looking and smiling at the band the whole time, with waves and cheers from onlookers and friends.

Amelia finished her lap (approx 500 mtrs) in a time of 1 hour 15 minutes and raised £365. The youngest fundraiser to complete a lap for Dumfries and Galloway relay for life.

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