Tim recently met four time Ironman champion and former professional triathlete Chrissie Wellington on his Special Day arranged by Willow. Read his story:
“Prior to cancer, life was ‘relatively normal’. I say ‘relatively normal’ because sadly in 2009 my Mother passed away as a result of cancer so I was going through the process of adjustment; losing a parent was difficult, especially when I was only 27.
Just 12 days prior to my official diagnosis I had run 20 miles and was in training for the 2014 London Marathon – so I thought I was actually pretty healthy. When I was diagnosed, quite simply my world once again was brought tumbling down as a consequence of cancer.
I found myself undergoing life saving surgery exactly five years to the day since mum died. Once I’d handled the initial disbelief, it’s surprising how quickly survival instincts ‘kicked in’.
I applied to Willow following life-saving surgery and months of chemotherapy treatment, which had left me drained. Having a Special Day to look forward to and focus on really helped boost my morale. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I was excited about something.
I wanted to make the most of my Special Day by asking for a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet Chrissie, a world champion athlete. I am running the London Marathon in April and in September I am cycling through the Alps and there were specific questions which I had, around getting back into condition after injury and illness, developing the right mind-set and transferring that into everyday life.
Willow arranged for us to have lunch at an intimate café in Bristol before meeting Chrissie over afternoon tea. We had a lovely time, Chrissie was very easy to get along with and she gave me some great ideas and tips on training and getting back into shape. I am really very grateful to her for giving up her time to meet with me.
My Special Day has given me a sense of relief and hope. Relief, that I am doing all that I can to help regain fitness, to help ensure the best chance to have a fulfilling life. With my regained fitness, there is genuine hope that I can live a “new normal” life.”
Take on the Will of Iron challenge this May and help create many more special moments for people like Tim.