I am running the Geneva Half Marathon on the 10th May 2020 in memory of my mother Rachel.
As many of you are aware my amazing mother Rachel was diagnosed with bone, liver and lung cancer in September 2015. After several rounds of chemotherapy, some radiotherapy and immunotherapy, she sadly passed away on 21st September 2017 and left a huge hole in Dad, Simon's and my lives as well as those who knew her well.
For those who didn't know Mum well, I'd like to tell you a bit about her. She was intelligent, caring, calm, loyal and loving. In both her personal and professional lives, she gave her all to everything she did and for Simon and I, she was our biggest support. She faced the last years of her life under the shadow of a terminal diagnosis in a characteristically unfussy way and always put others before herself. She never said no when we needed help and this often resulted in some pretty bizarre requests - from sourcing 150 m of yellow ribbon the day before a house competition at school to helping build a mini WW1 replica trench (complete with miniature sandbags) to name a few. She also seemed to know the answer to pretty much everything - whether it be a tough homework problem, needing to be talked through making a creme caramel whilst on a ski season or answering the most obscure question on University Challenge. She was that voice on the end of the phone that you wanted to share the successes but equally ponder the messes with and I truly miss her every day.
In her professional life as a solicitor, she spent her latter years championing the causes of so many who didn't have the voice to - dealing with some pretty difficult and sometimes dark situations whilst working for the Crown Prosecution Service. It involved handling tough and often sensitive issues but she knew that standing up for those who couldn't was so important.
Now... for those who know me, you will know that asking me to run a half marathon is like asking a vegan to eat a Big Mac from McDonalds! It doesn’t come naturally and they certainly wouldn’t want to do it! I’ve never been particularly gifted at anything that involves wearing a pair of trainers so setting myself this challenge is no mean feat! Training is well underway and considering I couldn’t even run for 60 seconds in November, completing a 5k in Feb was pretty monumental. The training continues and I’m planning to do my first 10k in March in order to prepare me for the Half Marathon in Geneva on 10th May.
I’ve set myself a target of raising £1,300 (£100 per mile) in Mum's memory for St Michael's Hospice in Hereford. Why you might ask? Well, we were in someways quite lucky that our need for the team at St Michael's Hospice was relatively limited. Mum deteriorated very quickly at the end but the fantastic team of staff provided the most incredible support for her (and us as a family) to be able to remain at home in those last hours and days. We genuinely couldn't have gone through that last week without their help. They rely entirely on donations and I’d love to be able to support them by raising some money so that they can provide the care and experience that we received, to those who in their last days, desperately need it too. They really are, just wonderful.
Rachel Elizabeth George
07/09/1956 - 21/09/2017