I found out about the ‘Walk the Wall’ charity event when Cancer Research Wales came into the Yard Cardiff office to have a chat with us about their local work and how they are working on tackling cancer – both in the lab and outside it, with fundraisers like this one.
I’ve always wanted to visit the Great Wall of China – it was a bit of a bucket list check box for me, but when I found out that Wales is one of the worst countries in Europe for detecting early stages of cancer I thought that doing it for such a great cause would be even better.
Detecting early stages of cancer makes treatment so much easier and, like many people, I’ve had friends pass away from the disease – 2 of whom would have had a much higher chance of surviving if it was detected sooner.
From the start, Yard were very supportive of me taking part. My manager and director personally encouraged me and helped me – allowing me to use part of my time at work to organise events and manage fundraisers.
Within no time I was jetting off to China ready to get stuck into the challenge. If I’m being honest – it was actually a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. Most days we were trekking in close to 40 degree heat and while I initially thought the wall would be fairly flat, there are actually quite a few steep inclines that involved scrambling up huge steps.
The biggest challenge for me wasn’t the fundraising – that was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be, as people are always willing to donate to great causes! All it takes is a bit of hard work and determination. My main obstacle to overcome was to keep going on the actual wall – I didn’t want to slow down the group but sometimes it was difficult to keep pushing forward. Luckily the team I was with were great – so happy and optimistic, and that support kept me on track!
Before, during and after the event I personally raised 127% of my fundraising target which I was absolutely thrilled with – I couldn’t have managed without huge support from my friends, family and Yard colleagues. My goal now is to increase my target and reach £3000.