Vicki Piper is preparing to ‘pound’ the pavements of Bournemouth to thank the charity which threw her a cash lifeline when she was fighting cancer.
The mum-of-two from Wimborne, will run in the Bournemouth Marathon Festival (October 6-7), to raise funds for Dorset Cancer Care Foundation (DCCF) which stepped up and paid her rent when she was too ill to work.
The charity which gives financial assistance to Dorset people with cancer, helped Vicki and her husband Martin meet their rent costs for two months during Vicki’s treatment.
Vicki explained: “I found quite a large a lump in my breast in July 2017.
“I hadn’t noticed it before and hoped it was a cyst. But I was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks later.
“I went from going to work, running in my spare time, and caring for my family as normal, to surgery and months of treatment. It just hit me for six.”
Vicki had surgery to remove the lump and all the lymph nodes in her left arm, followed by six rounds of gruelling chemotherapy and four weeks of radiotherapy.
She said: “I work as an occupational therapist at Poole Hospital, so on one hand I was used to the hospital, which was reassuring. But on the other hand I was bumping into people I knew when I had lost my hair and felt terrible from the treatment.
“Thankfully I have hugely supportive friends and family, including my husband and our daughters Sorrel and Brooke, who helped me cope. But I still get emotional when I think about it.”
Martin is a self-employed tree surgeon and when Vicki went onto half pay during sick leave, they realised that paying the bills was going to be extremely difficult.
“A woman I met at a chemotherapy information meeting told me about DCCF,” said Vicki.
“To be honest I struggled with the thought of asking for financial help.
“But applying online on the DCCF website was very easy and I quickly received a very kind letter back from the charity and the offer to pay two months of our rent, which was an incredible help.”
After completing her treatment, Vicki went back to DCCF to ask how she could help them.
Now she and around 20 of her friends from the Kingston Lacy Lady Running Group are in training to tackle the annual Marathon Festival’s 10k route for the charity.
Vicki said: “I have launched a Just Giving page called Running Back to Me in the hope of raising some money and all my friends have been great, especially my running group, which has already helped me amass more than £1000 through donations, a coffee and cake afternoon and a beach run.
“We are also planning a Nordic Walk and garden party in July, plus whatever we raise by running the 10k in October.
“I feel immensely grateful to DCCF for the help it gave my family in such dark times and so thankful to have so many, great friends willing to help me raise money for this charity.”
Vicki can be sponsored at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/vicki-piper1
Dorset Cancer Care Foundation would like to hear from other people who might need its help or whom are interested in becoming fundraisers. Please visit: www.dccf.co.uk for more information.
Media information: Debbie Granville at Deep South Media on 07884 657782 email: Debbie.firstname.lastname@example.org