This year during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month our Trek For Hope team will be trekking along the unparalleled Great Wall of China to raise money for us! We spoke to Julie Horrocks, one of the supporters taking part, to find out what inspired her to take on the challenge and what she's looking forward to most...
Hi Julie! Thank you for answering a few questions for us. First thing's first, why are you fundraising for Pancreatic Cancer UK?
I am fundraising for pancreatic cancer because we lost the best dad and granddad ever to this terrible cancer! I decided to do this as part of my grieving and to give me something positive to focus on out of something that shattered my world!!
What inspired you to join the Trek for Hope along the Great Wall of China?
The statistics of this cancer shocked me and if I can help raise awareness and funds to help towards earlier detection and treatment for people in the future it will help me feel better knowing that others may not have to cope so badly. Our Dad died just 3 weeks after diagnoses.
Two months after he died I was finding things hard...It began to sink in that I won't be seeing him again and began to miss him more...An email came through from Pancreatic Cancer UK (I'd been in contact with them before his death and they were really great) and the email had details of the Trek for Hope to China! I decided this was my therapy! It gave me something to focus on and do good. China has such an impact - as did our Dad! No half measures! He would have loved to visit the wall!
I signed up, a little worried about the fund raising but knew I had to do it! This was for me! Two weeks later I spoke with my sister and she was having the same emotions as me and I asked her to join me, he would be so pleased we are doing this together.
What has your preparation/training been like? How is it going so far?
The training so far hasn't been too bad as I'm a personal trainer and teach spin, I've upped my game by doing some longer bike rides and hill walks over the downs but the wet weather has not helped, hopefully now the drier weather is coming we came start to train more regularly. We've been researching boots and socks! Not our usual style of footwear to say the least!!!
What are you most looking forward to?
I am so looking forward to the breath taking sights of and on the wall, the experience will be once in a lifetime and to share this with my sister will be epic, also with other people who all know how we feel and have had the same pain of a lose of a loved one...(Some one also mentioned a duck feast!!)
What do you think will be the hardest thing about the trek?
I think that the hardest part of the trek will be the lack of hot baths and home comforts at the end of the day after relentless wall trekking! It will also be a very emotional trek as we are all doing it for our lost loved ones.
What would you say to someone who would like to do a trek but thinks they might not be able to?
If someone wanted to do the trek but didn't think they could...I would say, you only live once as we have all sadly been reminded of this! Life is too short and if you want to do it then go for it! I had doubts so start with, as everyone does but between my sister and I we will do this! The Charity are an enormous support...It will be tough but nothing compared to losing my dad!
Are you still interested in joining Team Hope this October? Book before the 30st April 2014 and save £100 off of the balance of your place. All you need to do is use the promotional code HOPE when booking your place on the Trek For Hope!
And if trekking isn't your thing, but you'd still like to help, then please do support Julie on her journey by sponsoring her here.