How taking part in Jog 28 gave us a boost

Here Terri tells the story of her husband’s devastating pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Yet despite the incredibly difficult circumstances, she came together virtually with close friends, to raise over £15,700 by taking part in Jog 28 Miles in February.

In January 2021, we got the awful diagnosis that my husband Simon at the age of 41 had pancreatic cancer, which had spread. We are devastated and it has blown our world apart. We have two children only nine and five and this all seems so unfair and out the blue.

I first saw the Jog 28 Miles in February advertised on Facebook, not long after we had Simon’s official diagnosis. I thought it was something I could do to help raise awareness and to show our children that in spite of this awful time we were having, we could do something positive.

Just as Simon was embarking on treatment to alleviate the pain and symptoms of this awful disease, my lovely friends Angela (whose mum died of pancreatic cancer in 2016 aged just 66), Ange and Balinder and myself decided to raise as much money as we could for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Some of us are not natural joggers but like a challenge.

Even though I exercise regularly, I hate running, so this was definitely a challenge for me. Especially in all the elements! I would do another virtual event in the future though, such as the marathon but I don’t think I would have time to train to run this year, with Simon being mid chemo.

Telling our children Layla, aged nine, and Harry, aged five, that their Daddy is very ill is the hardest thing we have ever had to do. However, the support and love our family have shown at this time has been amazing. Simon and I are so grateful for all their kindness.

We had many supporters join us too.

Our virtual fundraiser got far bigger than I could have imagined as we had many messages of support and people saying they’d do the miles too. I didn’t want all those miles to go to waste so we set up a Strava group so people could run for us. The idea being that we could see how far we could get from North Yorkshire where we live. In the first week, we got to Morocco, then Brazil, then Australia and finished having enough miles to run half the world. We ended up with over 200 runners clocking up 12,751 miles by the end of the challenge.

Simon, Layla, Henry and myself drew great comfort and positivity from the fundraiser and watching the miles go up. It was such a show of support and generosity. We feel it is a great legacy that shows just how well thought of Simon is.

I chose Pancreatic Cancer UK because I wanted to help them raise awareness of the disease. Simon’s age didn’t fit the typical characteristics of someone with the disease. Despite being in pain and going to his GP for four months he didn’t get a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. I want health professionals to be more aware of the symptoms, as well as the general public.

We can’t thank Terri, her family, friends and donors enough for their support. Thanks to them and 6,000 other supporters who joined the Facebook group we have received over £1 million in donations. This staggering amount could help fund over 10 Research Innovation Fund projects.

If Terri story inspires you, find out more about our virtual challenges