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Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust was recommended to me by a nurse at the hospital when I went in for treatment following an abnormal smear test and the support I found on there, particularly when waiting for results, was immense. Their helpline and forum was a lifeline to me in those weeks. I found it very difficult to talk to friends as I was so angry and didn't want to upset them and Jo's provided me that outlet to vent, digest and wallow when needed.
As a runner, I like to have a charity which I fundraise for when I can. I picked Jo's as without the support of the Trust and the ladies like me who frequent their forums looking for answers to questions we dare not ask, I am not sure how I would have gotten through in one piece. Since my experience, I have run three half marathons and one marathon and during each event Jo's is firmly on my mind. I realise how lucky I am to be able to do the things I love and work out ways I can raise not just funds but awareness for such a great cause.
If someone were to ask me how I raise money there wouldn't be just one answer. There are so many ways to do it and a lot of my inspiration came from google believe it or not. Forums such as yahoo or netmums are a treasure trove of ideas and it's nice to be able to do something a little different to asking for sponsorship.
Fundraising activities such as 'bake to order' cupcakes where the profits from orders are donated to the charity, quiz nights and raffles have been a big hit. This year my running partner and I also held a fitness challenge where friends, family, colleagues and local fitness clubs paid £6 to enter and they had to complete a specific distance in a set time in order to get a medal.
Raising funds for Jo's in particular is fantastic, as it's not only close to my heart but they are also really supportive and grateful for anything you raise. I haven't always found that the case with some other charities but Jo's checks in, makes sure I am doing ok and if I need anything; I really do appreciate that.
So far in the last 12 months my running partner and I have raised over £4000 for various charities; including Jo’s and it really does show that it's amazing what you can do if you put your mind to it.