A mother from Bath who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2013 is to run the Vitality Bath Half Marathon 2016 to thank staff at Bath’s Royal United Hospital for her treatment and to help raise funds towards the build of a pioneering new Cancer Centre at the Hospital.
Tricia Symons, 54, from Bath explains: “The Bath Half will always have a special place in my heart… From the first time I ran it in 2004 when I had just started running with my lovely friend Caroline, with the nerves, training schedules, what to eat, what to wear… I remember the first time we hit 13 miles in our training – we were so ecstatic that we had a massive celebratory lunch and then promptly passed out on the sofa for the rest of the day! Achieving 2 hours and 12 minutes with the help of our jelly babies, we were then hooked… And then in 2013 I was diagnosed with bowel cancer and I realised that I might never run it again…”
Before her diagnosis, Tricia was a keen runner and tennis player who was generally very fit and well. Tricia says: “Getting over the shock, then a serious operation, followed by six months of gruelling chemo seemed a daunting prospect, but the care I received from the RUH was fantastic. However, sitting in the chemo suite along with many other brave people made me realise that the new Cancer Unit was a badly needed resource, which could make everyone’s harrowing experience so much better.”
[alertinfo]Join The Forever Friends Appeal team today and support any ward or department that is close to your heart or the RUH Cancer Care Campaign. Visit our Bath Half page here[/alertinfo]
Tricia decided that the next best thing to do was to start fundraising in support of The Forever Friends Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign, which is raising £8.5 million towards the build of a pioneering new Cancer Centre at the hospital. In between grueling chemotherapy treatments, she bravely signed up to take part in numerous events that the Appeal were organizing in support of the RUH Cancer Care Campaign, which included an overseas trek to China in 2014 and the annual Walk of Life. In addition, Tricia also organized her own fundraising activities – in her own words, this was “not only to help spread the word about the fantastic RUH Cancer Care Campaign, but to also divert my attention from my own battle with Cancer”.
Tricia continues: “And then two lovely things happened. My children decided to run the Bath Half 2014 in my stead whilst my lovely running friends formed “Tricia’s Team” and signed up too. Feeling grotty on race day, I nevertheless cheered them all on and rattled my bucket hoping that maybe the following year I’d be able to join these wonderful runners once more”.
“Thanks to the fantastic care from the RUH, I’m happy to report that after the China Trek I was able to start running again and entered the 2015 Bath Half. I ran with my stepdaughter Sophie, who was running for the first time and it felt so special. The atmosphere was brilliant and I beamed all the way round, just happy to be alive and feeling very blessed!”
Two years since her diagnosis, Tricia has managed to raise an incredible £20,000 for the Appeal’s RUH Cancer Care Campaign but she’s not stopping there! Tricia will once again be lacing up her trainers this winter in preparation to run the Vitality Bath Half Marathon on Sunday 13th March 2016. She will be joining The Forever Friends Appeal’s running team to help raise funds for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign as a thank you to all those at the RUH who looked after her during her treatment.
Although general entries for the 2016 Vitality Bath Half are almost sold out, The Forever Friends Appeal still has a number of Silver Bond places! If you would like to join the team, which is proudly sponsored by local business Velopost, please our Bath Half Page or give the Events Team a call 01225 821535. Places cost £35 and you can choose to raise funds for a ward or department that is close to your heart or the RUH Cancer Care Campaign. If you already have a place in the race but would still like to be part of one of the biggest teams in Bath, please get in touch – the Appeal would love to hear from you!