Aara's Story

Published: 08 January 2024
When Aara, 11, found out about her grandfather’s cancer diagnosis, she wanted to do as much as she could to help raise awareness of cancer and the support Macmillan offers. In October 2023, Aara took part in Big Day Out (now Walk to Support) to raise vital funds to support Macmillan.

Have you been helped by Macmillan?

When my grandfather was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, I didn’t know anything about it. The word cancer was scary and I assumed that once you have cancer you would die from it, and when I Googled it, there was lots of confusing information and upsetting photos.

But then, my Mama and I looked at the Macmillan website which had lots of information about they type of cancer it was, and helped me to understand the types of tests and treatments he would need to get better.

Macmillan also helped my grandmother. She was very upset and cried a lot, but the nurse that spoke with her was very helpful also.


Aara at the finish line of the Walk to Support event.


I decided I wanted to do as much as I could to help raise awareness of cancer and the help that Macmillan gives to families like us.

Aara celebrating the finish of the Walk to Support event with her medal and a bouquet of flowers.

Have you done any fundraising or volunteering for Macmillan, or plan to do so?

When I found out about my grandfather, I decided I wanted to do as much as I could to help raise the awareness of cancer and the help Macmillan gives to families like us. I asked my Mama if she could sign me up to the Big Day Out (now Walk to Support) for Macmillan which was a 2.5km route through Battersea Park!

Once I was signed up and my t-shirt was on the way, we created a JustGiving page - a really easy way to allow people to donate and support me in achieving my goals. I set the goal for £1000 and sent the link out to all my family and friends. Everyone was really supportive and in four days I reached my full goal. Money kept trickling in up to the day I ran the event, and even after the event! I raised over £1500!

On the day of the event, it was really cold but beautiful blue skies and sunshine. I got up at 6am, and got ready to go with my Mama and her friend to the park for a 9am gathering. We ran through the park to the starting line, our adrenaline pumping. I ran up to the fountain as if I was Jessica Ennis, my heroine!

There was lots of people and a big Macmillan green bus, parked near the bandstand. There was lots of cheering and noise and we did a dance together before the event started. When they counted down and we set off, I was very focused on making it to the finish line as quickly as I could. I hear the leaves crunching under my feet as I ran from lamp post to lamppost, dodging dogs who were out for a walk and children on bikes.

As we got closer to the finish line there was an amazing steel band playing to celebrate, and we were greeted by the Macmillan team with medals. I even got an ice-cream to celebrate on route! The team was very nice and told me I was one of the highest fundraisers for Big Day Out and gave me a bouquet of lovely flowers and arranged for me to have my face painted in whatever design I liked.

It was a fantastic day, and I can’t wait to do the 10km route next year to carry on raising awareness of cancer and Macmillan!