In March 2010 our lovely Mum, Sheila, was diagnosed with pancreatic Cancer. A ruthless and efficient disease, the survival rate is an appalling 3% – Mum didn’t stand a chance.
She passed away 4 short months later aged just 66. Nearly 7 years on, we still miss her every day.
I remember one particularly difficult day, when Mum’s health was deteriorating rapidly and the Martlets team were with us in Mum’s home helping her to get more comfortable. I promised Mum I would run the marathon for the Martlets to say thank you to the nurses. That made her smile and she squeezed my hand.
There were tears in her eyes but there was pride too.
A year later I hobbled around the 26 miles with a nasty injury… but raised over £5,000 so the pain was well worth it. Words can’t really describe the emotion of that day but ‘proud’ comes first to mind… proud to wear my Martlets vest, proud to have raised so much money, proud to be honouring my Mum, proud to have finished!!
Martlets looked after my Mum in the last months of her life and crucially gave her care in her own home in the most difficult last few days. Mum was able to die peacefully at home – something she so very much wanted – and this is entirely down to the ‘Martlets At Home’ service that was made available to her and us as a family.
I cannot put a price on the value of practical and emotional support offered to us, her family members, during that challenging time and we quite simply would not have been able to manage without them.
Crossing the finishing line in 2011 I was greeted immediately by one of the many Martlets volunteers out in force that day. I don’t know his name, but he looked me in the eye and said ‘Thank you for running for the Martlets‘. All I could say in return was ‘Thank you for taking care of my Mum’.
That sentiment is as strong today as it ever was and explains why I am now preparing for my third marathon – London this time – fundraising for Martlets. I am absolutely delighted my ‘little’ brother is joining me this year and between us I am sure we can raise a great sum for the Martlets! Just as important though, we pay tribute to our wonderful Mum and keep her memory alive.
Sheila Cummins 1943 – 2010, Mum to Melanie, Angela & Andrew, Nana to Ethan, Isabelle, Joshua & Scarlett.
If you would like to donate to Andy and Angela’s fundraiser please do so via their Just Giving Page