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“I WORE PINK, I WALKED AND I CONQUERED”

My name is Deborah and I’m from Roche Avenue and I have done something really, really exciting!


I wore pink for cancer, I walked with my walker and I conquered 5k and completed the Race for Life!


My journey was a long one – that’s because, when the idea first came up, I thought it was ridiculous! I could only see the pitfalls of undertaking such a quest. I first came across the Race For Life when the Support Team Leader, Joy, suggested that we should participate in the annual Race for Life as a Roche Avenue Team. I really struggled with this idea. I can be honest and say that I strongly protested against. I wasn’t alone and I was sure that it would be too difficult a task. It would just be too tiring and I have never done anything like that before in my life. I could not imagine starting a race, let alone finishing one!


My ubu team were brilliant. They spent time with me to reassure me that this was well within my grasp; they were gentle but reassuring and gave me lots of positive encouragement. They explained how it would all happen and helped me to see that it was worth giving it a chance.


So, my journey began! To help me get ready for the race, my staff team supported me in getting used to walking over longer distances than usual. At first, I was walking around in town. Then, rather than taking the bus to town, I was encouraged to walk and practice with my walker.


GRADUALLY, I BUILT RESISTANCE AND STRENGTH


On the day of the race, I woke up very excited! I wore pink for cancer and even had a pink wig! My pink wig is definitely something! Lots of people take part in the Race for Life and there were so many people getting ready with me. We started off with a warm-up dance and I felt the atmosphere of the whole crowd lifting my confidence.


Then, the race started! I started out quite slowly but my pace steadily increased. I even caught up with the runners! Halfway through the race, I felt very tired; my ankles were hurting and I my walker was slowing me down. Thanks to my staff team, who continuously encouraged me, they helped me to keep going and take one step after another! Every step I took was one step closer to the finishing line. I stayed focused and determined!


Before too long, the finish line was in sight! I could smell victory! I felt empowered by the people that were cheering on me and believing in me! I conquered the 5K! What an achievement! I proudly wore my medals!


I couldn’t believe that somebody like me who is nearly 60 could do something extraordinary like this! If somebody tells you can’t do things because of your age, your lack of experience or because of a disability, please think twice! If I can do it, so can you!


My story has shown that, with the right opportunity, encouragement, positive engagement and team support, you can do whatever you set your mind to and achieve your goals, no matter how challenging. All you have to do it put your heart and mind to it!

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