Over the course of 12 months, Thom Sutcliffe is running 2 mega-meters which is 2,000km (the equivalent of running from London to Corfu!) in memory of his Mum who sadly passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2018. His mission is to raise awareness and much needed funds for pancreatic cancer.
In December 2017 my mum was living a perfectly normal life – she was working a full time job, playing with her grandchildren at weekends and helping my sister to move house. Then, out of the blue, she was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. She passed away just 7 weeks later, having spend around 24 hours at home since her diagnosis. The rest of her time was split between various hospital wards and a hospice.
Sadly, this is simply the nature of pancreatic cancer. It is almost never diagnosed early enough for any real treatment and, once symptoms appear, it is very aggressive.
I want to do something, anything to try and stop even one person from having to go through the same experience.
I am attempting to run 2 mega-meters (2000km) over the course of 2018. This is roughly one marathon per week (or the distance from London to Corfu).
Latest update from Thom
As I write this, I have completed just over 1700km. With 7 weeks left I’m a little behind schedule, but I can still reach 2000km by the end of the year. I know I can, because I inherited my mum’s determination.
It’s been an incredible experience. I’m fitter and healthier than I have been for a long time (I’ve lost 12kg so far), and I’m amazed at how far I’ve been able to push myself.
My family have been amazing, both by how we have supported each other through the grief, and by their directly supporting and enabling my challenge. My dad and brother have joined me on a couple of runs, my sister and other brother have offered much encouragement and advice. I was particularly thankful for this in the early days when I would frequently ask silly questions (“Help, I’ve been running and my knee hurts! What do I do?!”). My wife, too, has been amazingly supportive. She has done more than her fair share of the nighttime parenting (our son was 6 months old when my challenge started), particularly when I’ve had a long run planned for the morning.
My running has helped me through my personal grief too. It has given me dedicated time to spend remembering my mum, and all of the amazing things she did. I have also been able to better consider what my mum would have done in situations I have found myself in, and how she would have approached whatever challenges I’d be facing that day/week. Generally this would be with compassion, determination and pragmatism. This recurring realisation has led to my family’s recently adopted phrase “Be more Ruth”.
I’m really thankful for all of the donations, encouragement and support I’ve had from friends, family, colleagues, old friends of my mum’s, and even complete strangers. You have all helped me to feel like I’m making a difference in some small way, adding a tiny ray of light to the darkest days of my life.
Be more Ruth!