Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The clock ticks down..

I write this as the clock ticks down to 2014. I shall raise a glass shortly and propose a toast: "To my beloved Diane. I miss you so much. In the year to come, I pray you continue to inspire me and I promise I will strive not to disappoint you. Thank you for being there for me still. As for you, 2014, you'd better have had your Weetabix. I'm coming at ya!"

Monday, 30 December 2013

Leap of faith

Take a deep breath, close your eyes and get ready to take that leap into 2014.
Knowing now what lay just a little way ahead as we prepared for 2013 on this day exactly 12 months ago, it makes me nervous. I feel like I'm blindfolded and someone is leading me somewhere I have never been and is saying " It's OK, trust me." I trusted them last year and they let me down, left me in a dark place until friends rescued me.
But still I will do as they say. The rewards are worth the risk.
Here goes.
Good luck,everyone...

Sunday, 29 December 2013

A blank piece of paper...

2014. The start of a fresh new year full of hope and plans. The annual magical mystery tour into the next 12 months. We all try to plan the future, but the future has a habit of being a bit of a rebel. It doesn't like being told what to do.

So the future is always full of surprises. Tricks up its sleeve. Some of its mischief is a pleasant surprise. But sometimes what it had planned without telling us leaves us in despair. I think you can see where I'm going with this.

Or you might not. Like the future, this blog can be full of surprises.

Twelve months ago, as I made another cuppa for Diane to take up to her as she rested in bed trying to shake off this nasty bug we thought she had, 2013 still held a lot of promise. So much we were going to do.

How quickly the future sprang its devastating surprise on us and wrenched Diane from me in just a few weeks. It left me devastated, alone, our plans turned to dust.

The grief was unimaginable, even if I had been given time to imagine it. The shock, the pain, the anger, the rage. All these overwhelming emotions swirling around. Everyone expects those and, boy, they do not disappoint.

But there were still other surprises in store. Some good, even. Nobody is more surprised than me to lose shedloads of weight and be on the brink of my first marathon just a year since being 24 stones, diabetic and unable to get up a flight of stairs without joining Kermit’s nephew on the stair half way up for a breather and a catch-up.

I was literally shocked into getting fit - well, at least fitter - and I became a runner at 57 after a lifetime of being activity-averse, as Nigella might put it.

Now in just over 100 days off running my first marathon - inspired by my extraordinary wife Diane's courage - to raise cash for Breast Cancer Care UK and Derian House Children's Hospice in Chorley, Lancashire, around the streets of Rotterdam where she spent her childhood.

I want to tell you when that moment of surprise inspiration came. So pull up a seat and get comfy.
It was a short while after Diane's funeral.

I was sitting staring at, rather than watching, the TV and thinking, as usual, about Diane. I would do this for quite a while, trying to make sense of what had happened. I have not yet managed to solve that one. I’m told there’s no answer to that question: Why? So I reckon soon it will be time to stop asking it.
So there I was, when suddenly a thought came into my head, an image that has stayed with me ever since. I am at a desk on which there is nothing but a blank piece of paper. There is someone standing at my right shoulder. It feels like an authority figure, seems male. Not Diane, then so this isn’t one of those spooky “She came to me” stories. I think she sent him, though. Whoever he was. Maybe an old teacher. Maybe Mr Bogart, who taught her in Rotterdam and of whom she often spoke. Never mind. Probably not relevant.

The figure reaches out and hands me a pen. He points at the blank piece of paper. That's the rest of your life, he says, start writing it.

I realise in that moment that Diane wanted me to have a go. At anything I wanted to. She didn’t want me to sit and mope, she wanted me to get off my backside and sort myself out. She had always worried about how I’d cope on my own. This was her telling me to buck up and get on with it.
I realise that the future is all we have, even if it doesn’t do what we want it to. We must try, we must strive, we must do our utmost. And maybe, the future will from time to time be kind to us and let us achieve one of our dreams.

One thing is certain – not trying is not an option. Not trying is letting Diane down. Letting down everything she did when she was alive to get me to where I am now. She was the driving force behind all I did then and nothing has changed. She still drives me on. That’s what the black piece of paper was all about. Her motivating me, as she had always done in life, her telling me to reach higher, achieve more and be better.
I think that’s what is behind all this health kick and marathon lark.

So as we stand on the starting line of 2014, we should be reaching for our dreams. Tell yourself anything is possible, and then go for it for as long as the future lets you. You'll be surprised by how far you can get. It's a lot more than just 26 miles.

I was reminded of words Diane said in the early, bleak days following her diagnosis in 2006. We feared the worst, thought we had just a few months left together, and Di made me promise to live life without her to the full. She was sure I would struggle on my own, and was determined that I shouldn't face the future alone. So she has stuck around for a while, inspiring me to hopefully get more of it right than wrong.

Fast forward to 2013 and me at the desk. I take the pen and start to write. As we approach the end of this terrible year, I have nearly reached the end of the first chapter, which will come to its dramatic – and possibly hilarious - conclusion on Rotterdam's celebrated Coolsingel finishing straight in April.
Then when it is done, I will begin to write the next chapter of the rest of my life... and right now I have no idea what it will be.
And maybe one of the surprises the future will have up its sleeve in 2014 is to let me succeed at a few things I try to do.

So do we look back on 2013 or forward to 2014? I will always remember every awful moment of the last 12 months, and there are still moments to come when tears will return, when days will be bleak. January 5 would have been our 18th wedding anniversary, February 6 will mark 12 months since Diane died. Eight days later, 12 months ago, we all gathered to celebrate her life and say goodbye. Tough days ahead.

But 2013 is already written, already set in stone. We can’t change a word of it. That chapter is closed. So leave it and put it up there on the shelf next to 2011 and 2012.

As for 2014, that’s still up for grabs. I have already made a start. The paper's not blank anymore.
But there's still so much left to write…

Sunday, 22 December 2013

A Christmas prayer

They said this Christmas would be difficult. And they weren’t far wrong.

It's odd to think you could dread a time traditionally so full of warmth and happiness. But I was warned that Christmas 2013 was not going to be easy.

Last Christmas was when Diane first complained of being unwell. She didn't manage to eat anything on Christmas Day and it was the first time if we are honest that we suspected something wasn't quite right.

But there were so many bugs knocking about, we convinced ourselves it was just one of those. Diane was determined to shrug it off. She'd feel better in a few days, she insisted.

But it wasn't a bug...

This Christmas, it all feels very different. From making Diane feel too unwell to eat her Christmas dinner to taking her from me took this evil disease of cancer just six weeks. I remember sitting in the ante room on the hospital ward just minutes after her death wondering what had just happened. A few weeks before we had been making plans for the rest of 2013. Now she had been snatched away.

It made no sense.
And it still makes no sense.

I sit here, without her, sharing these thoughts with you. All I can do is wish she was with me once again in person rather than just filling my head 24/7. I wish I could see her across the room and watch her be ... well, just watch her be Diane, I guess.

But I cannot and no matter how much I beg, plead and beseech someone, anyone, somewhere, anywhere, to make it happen, I know it won't.

Sometimes, as Diane used to say, the answer to a prayer is "no".

Then it struck me. Or maybe she gave me one of those digs in the ribs when I’m being a bit slow to catch on. I’m not respecting her life and memory if I end up wasting what life is left to me by moping about. That life can still be full of surprises (yes even more than me losing seven stones and running a marathon). And she can still help me live it – we can still make this journey together.

The future is nothing but surprises. No-one knows how what's next. But it can only happen, it can only surprise me, if I grasp every chance I get. Only if I believe in it. Only if I’m positive.

There’s that word again. Positive. I love it. It’s my favourite word right now. It transforms darkness into light. It means there’s hope. You can achieve nothing by being negative but if you’re positive all things are possible. Not all of them will come off, clearly, but all of them will, for a short while at least, be possible. Everybody is capable of over-achieving if they want to.

It is, for example, possible to grieve for someone so dear as Diane and still carry a smile, still be optimistic and still over-achieve.

And I’m determined not to let her down by sitting alone at Christmas feeling sorry for myself. I can do nothing about the past. I need to make sure that whatever I do from now on is done in honour of her. If I think she’d be happy with what I’m doing and the way I’m doing it, then I’m happy too and I go ahead – no need to seek approval from anyone but her.

So I was determined Christmas 2013 wasn’t going to fill me with dread. This wasn’t going to be a terrible time.

This year, I decided to “do” Christmas.

The decorations were up in record time, I’ve tried some festive baking for the first time and I am determined to have a good Christmas in the company of the wonderful people I’m lucky enough to call my friends.

I even made it to the company Christmas party on Friday for the first time in God knows how long and I had a blast. The incredible friends I shared it with made it a very special evening.

And I’m off to visit more pals – some Diane’s, some mine – over the coming days. I will do my best to enjoy it all and I’m sure I’ll create memories to carry with me forever.

Of course, there’ll be quiet moments when I’m alone with Diane and a few tears will come. I’ll say what I have to say to her in private. I'll close my eyes and in my mind I’ll kiss her gently on the cheek and wish her a Merry Christmas from her adoring husband. That’s only to be expected. I miss her beyond words and wish she was beside me in person again.

But I know that can’t happen.

That’s why my Christmas prayer is not for her to be back, sitting opposite me in this room, sharing Christmas again with me in person. I already know the answer to that is "no".

No, my Christmas prayer is to you.

To you who are lucky enough to have yet to spend a family Christmas with someone as special as her missing. One Christmas yet to come - maybe not next year or the year after but certainly at some point – will be your first Christmas apart from someone you thought you couldn't live without.

So I pray you make the most of every precious second you have this week and all year round with your family, closest friends and neighbours.

I pray you promise from this day on never to be left wishing you had told them more often that you loved them.

I pray you decide to make sure you don't end up regretting that you hadn't made the effort to do more together, see each other more often, spend more time watching them be... well, just watch them be them.

And I pray the answer to this prayer is "yes".

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Sleepless in Bolton

I HAD a sleepless night last night. And while I lay awake, I remembered I wanted to share something with you…
It is – and has been for years - a constant source of much amusement in the office that the list of my Top 5 Films of All Time features the sugary-sweet Sleepless in Seattle, as shamelessly sentimental a movie as you could wish to find.
To be honest it would probably be in a list of my Top 1 Films of All Time. I’m shamelessly sentimental too. Rom coms are my guilty pleasure – but not guilty enough that I feel I have to make any apologies or excuses for. I love 'em and don’t care who knows it!
But there’s something very special about Sleepless in Seattle. It’s been one of my favourites since I first saw it. But this year it seemed to take on even more importance for me.
So settle in. Here’s the story…
A lot of you will be aware of the “plot”. Tom Hanks plays an architect struggling to come to terms with the death of his beautiful wife to cancer and at the same time tasked with easing the pain of their young son. To try to build a new life away from the places that remind him of her, he moves from Chicago to Seattle but the sense of loss is still as strong as ever. Except, in Chicago, it didn’t rain quite so much.
One night the young boy tricks his dad into speaking to a late night radio show to talk about his loss.
In a gentle, quiet scene, Hanks’s character Sam talks of how he is trying to cope. He tells the radio host: "Well, I'm gonna get out of bed every morning... breathe in and out all day long. Then, after a while I won't have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out... and, then after a while, I won't have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while."
That line has come back to me a lot this year. I like Sam. I like the way he put this. Because it’s how I felt this year after losing Diane in February to cancer. How perfect I had it. How lucky I was. How much of a struggle it is to do without something that great.
I talk a lot in this column about Diane still being with me. Of course she is. As I’ve said many times, she’s with me when I run a race, I still feel her hand in mine and I still hear her voice in my ear. But her not physically being here does take its toll, all the same. I miss watching her sleep, I miss her scent, I simply miss her being there.
So I know where Sam, my fictional partner in grief, is coming from.
And last week I got a call from a lovely woman called Alison Butterworth who hosts a late night radio show across Lancashire and Manchester and who wants me to come on and talk about how I feel, and why I’m running this marathon in April in Rotterdam, the city where Diane grew up.
I’m hoping I get the chance to do that before Christmas. I’m definitely going to be on there on Thursday January 9 - just after my first half-marathon near Preston on January 5 - to talk about my weight loss and transformation from couch potato to distance runner in less than a year.
But I am also hoping to join her before then to talk about the Running With Diane campaign. I might even retell this story. It would seem appropriate on a late night radio show. Just like Sam did.
But there’s another reason why this film is forever in my heart. Back in 1993, when Diane and I were starting to see each other, the first film we saw together at the cinema was Sleepless in Seattle.
She loved it, too. And every time since then that it has been on TV we’ve smiled, had a little hug and thought back to that day when we were just starting out on our journey together with no idea where it would lead.
I’m so lucky to have been blessed with knowing her.
Like the man said, I had it great and perfect for a while…

Friday, 29 November 2013

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Happy birthday, my darling Diane...


Today's a special day. And a very difficult one. It's Diane's birthday. One of the days they warned me about even though I didn't need anyone to tell me how I knew I was going to feel.

This is the first birthday I didn't wake her with a kiss on her forehead, with a card I had pretended had just been mysteriously delivered without a stamp, and a present she'd made me promise not to get because she didn't want so much spent on her. It's the only time I ignored her. Honest.

Today was the first of her birthdays for over 20 years that I couldn't her watch her smile as she read the card even though I said the same thing every year.

"Together, forever, All my love, Your David."

I wrote it in the card I gave her today too...

Diane was born in Salford 72 years ago today. Born into a world plunged into darkness by war, a war that at that time had not yet turned in our favour. It must have been an uncertain time to bring a child into the world but it was the start of what would become a wonderful life.

Everyone who met Diane was the better for it. I was lucky enough to be with her for 21 of her birthdays and I know if I hadn't been, my life would have been much poorer. There would be less good in me now.

That's why I need her in my life forever. Together, forever. Like the card says every year. Like my card says today. She's still so much a part of my life and she's the inspiration for me to run this marathon in Rotterdam in just a few short months around the streets where she grew up.

She'll be with me every step of the way. My birthday girl. So today seemed the perfect day to officially launch the Running With Diane campaign it symbolises how I feel. I'm not running "for" Diane, I feel I'm running WITH her.
And the idea is to get loads of other people running with her, too. This movement will run and run (if you pardon the pun) with local events, runs and challenges across Manchester and the North West throughout 2014 and beyond.

All raising urgently needed cash for the charity Breast Cancer Care, and the incredible work they do helping sufferers and their families who are facing the same agonies, doubts, fears and pain that Diane and I did.

For the marathon in Rotterdam, we're aiming to raise £100,000 for Breast Cancer Care by hook or by crook, by pink iced cupcake or by whatever Great Beefy Bake-off idea I can come up with between now and then as well as donations and sponsorship. (Note that donating on the Breast Cancer Care page means they get more money - without the Just Giving admin charge, in other words).

That target looks a tall order now as I stand at the bottom looking up at it, but little by little we'll climb up it step by step, pound by pound (penny by penny if we have to!) and we will get there.

And then some, hopefully.

We'll smash it.

What's stopping us?

Do it for everyone who finds themselves closing their eyes on a loved one's birthday, wishing they could still wake them with a kiss on the forehead

Monday, 25 November 2013

Bolton News, November 25, 2013

Former Bolton News man loses 40% of his weight to run in memory of his wife

My story, given a good show in the local paper yesterday. Thanks to everyone at the Bolton News, where I have fond memories of working back in the (very) early 90s.
Here’s the full text of it…

A former Bolton News journalist has pledged to lose 40% of his bodyweight in just over 12 months to run a marathon in memory of his wife who died of breast cancer.
Dave Beevers, of Smithills, Bolton, Lancs, who turned 58 last week, has already lost seven stones since January and aims to lose at least three more before he lines up with the other 10,000 runners at the start of the Rotterdam Marathon in April in the city where Diane spent her childhood.
So far, as well as the weight loss, Dave has dropped six shirt sizes and lost six inches off his waist.
He only joined the gym at Smithills Sports Centre in April which means when he lines up to start his big race next year it will have taken him less than 12 months to go from not being able to walk for more than a minute on a treadmill to running over 26 miles.
He is now a member of Burnden Road Runners, based at Smithills Sports Centre. Oh, and he aims to do the marathon in under four hours.

Wife Diane, a former licensee of the Sally Up Steps pub in Chorley Old Road (now the Nam Ploy Thai restaurant),  died of metastatic breast cancer on February 6 this year aged 71 after six years of treatment including a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and tablets.
When she came off her five-year course of tablets last November, both she and Dave believed they had beaten the disease and started making plans for the future.
One of the plans which had been shelved during the illness was for Diane to take Dave to Rotterdam to show him where she grew up.
Sadly, it wasn't to be.
Diane complained of feeling unwell last Christmas and after a few weeks her condition worsened. She was rushed to hospital where scan revealed the cancer had returned with a vengeance. She died just six days after being admitted.
Dave said: "I just felt numb. I sat there in a side room on the ward and couldn't take it in. It seemed like one minute she was there and we were making plans and the next minute she was gone.
"I felt not just alone, I felt vulnerable and alone. After her funeral I realised how much in bad shape I was. I was nearly 24 stone, diabetic and could see me ending up in a wheelchair in a couple of years if I didn't do something.
"So I decided to join a gym and sort myself. I had no-one to fall back on for support now. It was up to me and me alone. I wasn't to become the sad, lonely, fat old man in the corner house I was determined to reinvent myself and make Diane proud."
He added: “I am not a runner, never have been. But I have become passionate about it and the only reason I can think of is that Diane has decided I needed to make a difference.”
Although Diane spent her childhood in Rotterdam, she was born in Salford. Dave decided to set himself a new goal he entered the City of Salford 5K in September and raised more than £1,600 for the charity Breast Cancer Care.
He was bitten by the running bug. Having not run for 40 years since he was at school, Dave suddenly found himself running 10Ks around the north west and then the idea of running a marathon in Diane's childhood city took shape.
Now he aims to raise a massive £100,000 for the charity through sponsorship and a series of fund-raisers leading up to his ultimate challenge next April.
He said: “I want to raise as much as I can for Breast Cancer Care and the amazing work they do with families affected by this horrendous disease and with people identifying with our story in Rotterdam as well as over here because of the links with Diane, I don’t see why we can’t smash through the target.”
To support his fund-raising activities, he has started the online community blog Running With Diane.
Dave explains: "Those three words sum up how I feel when I’m running. I didn't want people to say I was running 'in her memory' or 'for' her. To me, I was running WITH her and that was an important point for me to get across. She is my inspiration and driving force.
"Every time I run, she runs with me. We have done everything together for over 20 years. Why should now be any different?

"Cancer's not beaten her. It took her body but it couldn't touch what made her special. We'll always have that. Especially when we're running together."

Monday, 11 November 2013

'I strive to be as good as her, but it's tough'

SO the clock is ticking (see the last post) and my first attempt at a marathon comes ever closer. It’s fair to say I think about it a lot – some days with excitement and relish, others with abject fear.
Then I remember what this is all about.
This is not about running 26 miles. This about running a lifetime, one which began in Salford one of those lifetimes ago. It is a journey run by Diane Beevers, a brave and courageous woman who was snatched from me by cancer on February 6, 2013.
But her journey hasn’t ended. It’s my job, my role in life now, to make sure it never does.
She still fills my heart, my thoughts and I still turn to her for help. The essence of what made her Diane, what made her so perfect, will never be lost. Cancer – or anything else for that matter – can’t get at that thing that made her special. Everyone who has lost a loved one knows that to be true.
Sure, it can attack her body, and it did so brutally, but it can’t touch the spirit of who she was. And so she will always be here, guiding me, ticking me off when I screw up and pushing me to be better than I am. I still feel the need to prove myself to her, especially now.
I strive to be as good as her but it’s tough.
That’s what this is all about, I think. Doing her justice. Trying to be half as wonderful as she was and to make her proud of me.
That’s why I have launched Running With Diane. Helping her help others now in the same way she was always so ready to help others when she was alive.
And yes, there’s guilt in there. Guilt at not having cherished each moment with her as much as I should have.
Someone snapped their fingers, and Diane was taken. That’s how it felt because it all happened so quickly in the end. And I hadn't said I loved her often enough. We always had fun together and (honestly) rarely quarrelled if at all. Certainly no raised voices in 20 years. But still it fells like I could have laughed more with her, loved her more, cherished her more.
Look at the person you love most and imagine them not there. Horrible thought, isn’t it. We shudder and convince ourselves not to think about it.
But trust me, think about it.
Think about it every minute of every day and thank whatever God you follow that they’re still beside you right now. And show them every minute of every day how you feel about having them around.
We can’t do anything about when we die, but we can always make the time between now and then better.

No, this isn't about running 26 miles (and a bit). It's about much bigger, more important things than that. It's about loss, grief, guilt, anger, pain, injustice... all coming together in a need to make a difference. So join up, share with your friends on Twitter and Facebook and shout it from the rooftops. The bigger the Running With Diane mob becomes, the more good we can do and the more people we can help.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

The story begins...

FOR 40 years since leaving school, I had only ever run for a bus. And I was so slow I still usually missed it.
To be honest, I’m not sure I even ran that far at school. There were a couple of us I seem to remember trailing far behind the pack and looking for short cuts through Sefton Park in Liverpool so we could cheat and rejoin the rest later in the cross-country race.
But that all changed in February this year. I lost my brave and beautiful wife Diane to metastatic breast cancer after seven years of battles, chemo, radiotherapy, tablets and pain.
The loss was devastating, particularly as her coming off the treatment in November last year had given us hope that we had got over the worst. We had already started making plans to do things we had put on hold when she fell ill again over Christmas and New Year. She grew steadily weaker and finally succumbed on February 6.
With Diane suffering so much, my own health had gone downhill, too, without realising quite to what extent. I had been diagnosed in 2011 with Type 2 diabetes and in January this year, I was “morbidly obese” (as they so scarily put it) at nearly 23 stones, my back was starting to object to the weight it was having to carry and my legs were starting to give way.
Now I had lost Diane, I felt alone, weak and vulnerable. Thankfully, she told me to do something about it. And thankfully, I listened to her (as usual).

Diane was my inspiration in life, and she will remain that forever. What happened next is down entirely to her.

I had to sort myself out. For a start, there were two wonderful doggies grieving for their mum who needed a dad who didn’t run out of breath 50 yards into a walk.
So I joined a gym over the road on April 19. On the day I signed up, I couldn’t walk for more than a minute on the treadmill let alone run.
Then, gradually, session by session, I found myself doing more and more. But I needed a target. So I decided to aim for a 5K run and chose one in September as my goal – or maybe Diane chose it. It was the City of Salford 5K, and Salford is where she was born.

I ran it. With Diane. Not for Diane or in memory of Diane. But WITH Diane. She was with me every step of the way – after all, we had done everything together for the past 20 years, why should it be any different now. And that's where the Running With Diane in aid of Breast Cancer Care idea took off.

Diane still fills my heart, my thoughts and I still turn to her for help. I can still feel her hand in mine, her head on my shoulder and hear her voice in my ear. So don’t tell me she’s gone. Because she hasn’t.

That's why I was Running With Diane. And will continue to run with her, every race I do.

Late on in the preparations for the race, I found myself in front of the computer at home, one Sunday morning, thinking – as usual – about Diane. And I started to write. And as I wrote, as I expressed for the first time my emotions from this terrible year, I felt I needed to help others who were going through what we had endured.
So the words I’d written became the heart of a Just Giving page and I set about raising the proverbial “few bob” for Breast Cancer Care, the charity that does so much for cancer sufferers and their families and friends.

The words clearly struck a chord. 

Within hours of the page being put up, donations from friends and work colleagues started to come in. We all raised over £1,600 in the end – a staggering amount given it was just a debut 5K and I was overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity.
I was told people were inspired by my words. Much the same way that Diane inspired me to write them. And so, in the hope that my story can inspire others, I decided to launch the Running With Diane campaign in aid of Breast Cancer Care.
Keep that in your mind at all time. For those of you who have lost loved ones like I lost Diane, this is something we will do WITH those loved ones.
You and I together will get through our pain by running, jogging, walking, hobbling or shuffling along and raising awareness of the fantastic work Breast Cancer Care does.

Oh, and for the record, since January this year as a result of all this, I have so far lost five and a half stones in weight (at least three more to go), lost six inches off my waist and dropped five shirt sizes. My diabetes is now undetectable and I've got two 10Ks under my belt with more to run in the coming weeks.

All through one day deciding to start Running With Diane.

Now it's getting
serious, Diane...

Diane spent her childhood in Rotterdam. She grew up there and loved the city. It always had a special place in her heart and we promised each other that one day we would visit it together and she would show me where she laughed, played, cried and learned to be the wonderful person she became.
But we kept putting it off and when she was diagnosed, it was shelved altogether. It was one of those things we were planning to do again when she got better. Sadly, that wasn’t to be.
And so to celebrate her childhood years in Rotterdam, I have decided to run the city’s marathon on April 13, 2014, through the streets where she grew up.

And I’ll be doing it with her. Running with Diane.

You can join in the adventure by signing up to this blog via your email, following my journey and being a part of it yourself. Over the coming months leading up to the marathon, I’ll be updating my training progress, talking more about Diane and trying to express how I feel about losing her.
All I want is not to let Diane down and do everything I can on her behalf to help others in our position. I’m hoping people will take some inspiration from my and Diane’s story.
Diane and I hope you can join us...