A Preston North End worker is gearing up to take on the London Marathon for Macmillan Cancer Support.Advertisement
Rebecca Robertson, Preston North End Community and Education Trust’s Head of Community Engagement, has raised funds for the charity for several years after sadly losing her father to a brain tumour in 2014.
In the lead-up to this year’s event, Rebecca, who has worked for Preston North End since December 2019, and her family have raised funds for Macmillan through several events that included a pub crawl.
Rebecca was involved with a charity football match with participants from the trust’s NCS programme, with plans in place for a Macmillan Coffee Morning and raffle in the coming weeks.
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Rebecca and her family have raised funds for Macmillan through events each year. But following a skydive, firewalk and half marathon, the 26.2-mile challenge is expected to be the most difficult yet.
Rebecca said: “Macmillan Cancer Support is a charity that’s close to mine and my family’s heart. My dad passed away seven years ago, and we had an amazing Macmillan nurse, Rosemary, who supported us through the end of his life.
“In 2014, my dad had a brain tumour – he’d had a brain tumour for seven years, so it was a long time. Unfortunately, towards the end of that July, my dad was told that he was terminally ill and that the tumour had taken over, and unfortunately, it was time for end-of-life care.
“For anyone who’s been in that place, I can’t describe how difficult it is. My dad was loud, powerful, outgoing – he was the loudest voice in the room – I wonder where I get it! To watch someone become such a shadow of themselves because of cancer was difficult.
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Rebecca said having a charity like Macmillan and someone like Rosemary around during those times meant the world.
She said: “It’s given me so much passion and enthusiasm to raise money for charities like that because I understand there’s a lot of research going into curing cancer and supporting that scientific aspect, but for me, the support when your world is falling around you is the most important thing.
“I want to be able to support charities like that, so they’re helping families like ourselves and giving people that extra bit of time with their loved ones before the inevitable happens. When you look back, and that’s all you have left, you’re so grateful for those moments and minutes you have.
“Having them as part of that journey with you just meant we got some extra precious minutes with my dad. I’ll be eternally grateful to have had those last minutes with him.”
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Inspired by her dad’s outgoing personality, Rebecca decided to fundraise in the most extravagant ways, particularly now, with charities struggling due to the pandemic.
Rebecca said: “My dad was pretty similar to me – quite confident, out there, and he did a number of different things. He was the one who got me on my first rollercoaster and got me doing all sorts of crazy activities. He taught me that your options are endless and that whatever you put in, you get out.
“When my dad passed, we wanted to make sure that rather than getting upset and feeling it was all for nothing, we wanted to leave a lasting legacy.
“It’s been a really tough year-and-a-half for everyone, but especially for charities like Macmillan, as they’ve not had that stream of fundraising.
“The marathon last year was cancelled and done virtually, which quite a lot of people didn’t want to do because it’s hard enough running far on your own.
“There are a lot of people that want to raise money for amazing charities, and Macmillan is my choice because I wouldn’t have got through what happened with my dad if it hadn’t been for the charity.”
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To donate to Rebecca’s fundraiser, visit- https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser
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