I had always admired the efforts of the runners in the Great North Run on the television and it looked fun. I decided this would be a great way to build my strength and raise money to repay in some small way the help I have been given, as well as showing the world that life goes on after cancer.
When I announced I wanted to do the Great North Run, Cathryn [my Macmillan dietitian] got in touch with one of the British Olympic team trainers to ask for dietary advice. I thought that was fantastic. They were out at the Olympics in Beijing at the time, so she really did pull out all the stops for me.
The PEG [feeding tube] allowed me to swim (and scuba dive) as part of my training. My dietician organised a rucksack that held my feeding pump so that I could take on water during the run and not dehydrate. As I have no saliva glands and a very dry mouth, I experimented with sprays.
I needed more energy to do the run, so Cathryn and I worked out a special diet to put through my tube. And it was good for me because it helped me get a lot stronger. I think giving is very rewarding, but I got a lot back from it as well.
Without the help of Cathryn and the rest of the MacMillan team, there’s no way I would have finished the Great North Run.