As many of you will know I work at the University of Glasgow and from time to time we get emails from our development and alumni office about fundraising events.  There are a range of events held but some are more challenging than others.  For several years I’ve been tempted to go for one of the abseiling challenges but the time hasn’t been right.  A few weeks ago the email that came through was about a Firewalk challenge and I decided to sign up for it.

These events raise funds for charity and you pick out of a small selection which you want to support by doing your challenge.  In my case I picked the Beatson Pebble Appeal which is fundraising to help build the Glasgow Centre for Cancer Research.  As the site says:

“The University is jointly developing the Centre with the Beatson Institute, Cancer Research UK and the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board and it will form part of the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Scotland. It will also be one of the largest in the UK.”

Like many my life has been affected by cancer.  I have lost friends and family to different cancers over the years.  At the moment one of my freinds in Glasgow is spending most of her days at the bedside of her husband who is dying from cancer.  It was only a couple of years ago that she did the same thing for her daughter-in-law.

The first rite of passage I ever did was a funeral for a member of the druid group I used to help run.  Insa was a couple of years younger than me and had a form of cancer more common to children than adults.  I visited her several times during the last months of her life.  I was pregnant with my first child at the time and as Insa grew weaker so the life within me grew stronger.  It was an honour to be asked to lead her funeral and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. 

I would be surprised if there is anyone among those I know that does not know of someone close to them that is either fighting cancer, has recovered, or has died from it.

It is for that reason that I chose the charity I did to support.  But I’m also doing this challenge for myself.  It’s been a rough couple of years for me but thinkgs are improving.  I’ve gone through mental and emotional fires and come out the other side transformed.  Walking across hot embers in a Firewalk seems a fitting way to mark the changes, a form of rite of passage for me.

So on Saturday 20th October at about 8pm I will be getting warm feet in a different way.  I hope to raise funds while doing this and to that end I’ve set up a justgiving page.  If we are connected on Facebook then you will hopefully have seen the link there but for those that are not…

Author: potiapitchford

Autistic mother with autistic kids. Hearth Druid and Heathen

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