Cancer! It's a word, not a sentence. But it's the one word that can send a chill down your back. Whether it's your own diagnosis or that of a loved one, it's a disease that can turn into a protracked affair, overwhelming a person's life. Today statistics show that 1 in 2 people born after 1960 in the UK will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime. But there's also reason for hope, and it's that hope and the fight the fight, find the cure attitude that's motivated us today. Through charity events such as the race for life, cancer survival in the UK has doubled in the last 40 years. Surely that's a reason in itself to donate to such a worthy cause.
Due to this, The Boarding House Charity Committee run by Miss Smith and Shauna Throssell suggested in Term 4 that The Wellesley Girls participate to raise money and awareness. Cancer Research is a charity that is close to everyone's heart. The reality of this really hit home this year, when Veronica, a Wellesley boarder's uncle Enrique sadly passed away on the 20th January 2016 from cancer. This was the beginning of our journey!
Since then over the course of two terms we've been committed to raising as much money as possible and training to be the best we can be on the day. The committee did this by setting up a Just Giving page where each participant had a personal aim of raising £50. This was shared with family and friends and even re-tweeted by @raceforlife on Twitter. The support we have had was absolutely phenomenal and has truly left us speechless. This has been an international effort as we've received sponsorship from the Wellington Academy and boarding staff, governors, parents and guardians in locations such as Canada, Germany and Spain. We also had a huge donation from Shauna's Granny who raised £100 through the Scottish Woman's Royal Legion. The day before the race this took our total to £576. With a final push on social media, we shared our fundraising page to attempt to SMASH our target of £800. 19 hours before the race our just giving page lit up and pinged with an anonymous donation of £220. We literally couldn't believe it, the girls actually thought it was a joke. We attempted to find out who this person was to give our thanks but there was no details left, our C.S.I skills were hopeless. However, there were more shocks yet to come. 7 hours later another anonymous donation came through, this time for £222 with a personal message "Angels help others without an expectation of a return. Tomorrow you will join the many who have earned their wings. Bless you all". We would just like to say thank you so much to everyone who has supported us throughout our journey. As of race day we have raised a total of £1,028.83. Wow!
This brings us to Sunday 10th July where The Wellesley Girls, Miss Smith and Miss Van Niekerk were up early and formed a braiding production line with the assistance of Miss Grainger. We spent 2 hours putting on war paint, tattoos, tutu's, badge pins and sweat bands so we were ready to kick cancers butt! On arrival to the event we couldn't believe our luck as it started to rain. We were hoping for some sun, but after completing the race, the weather was a bonus. Running conditions were much easier and refreshing with the rain cooling the air. After our team pep talk and briefing we allocated a rendezvous point and went off to explore the venue. We had some terrific group shots taken by Salisbury Life Magazine and Salisbury Journal.
The warm up was really fun and uplifting this got our bodies ready for what laid ahead. Hundreds of runners crowded around and some of the girls managed to win free t-shirts. After listening to other people stories we got separated into three groups; runners, joggers and walkers. We were ready! Full of hope and perseverance, running for an amazing charity, we all had a belief that a positive outcome lies ahead for all cancer fighters.
We know that for some this belief can be difficult to hold onto in the face of cancer, but today as a team, knowing how to create a sense of hope helped those face cancer survivorship with strength and confidence. The countdown begun and the Mexican wave followed many pounding footsteps as we set off running. This is where Mr Olunfunwa and Miss Smith’s training every Wednesday kicked in and helped people achieve amazing run times. The first Wellesley girls came across the finish line at 27 minutes. This was the start of many personal best run times and sense of achievement. We wore our medals home with pride and we've already started planning doing a colour and muddy run next year! #jogoncancer
Written by Shauna Throssell and Miss Smith
If you would like to donate to this worthy cause please follow the link: www.justgiving.com/TheWellesleyGirlsTWA