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Rebecca’s pledge - National Fitness Day


Rebecca Mincher, inclusivity lead at the University’s Law School blogs about how she has teamed up with WLV Sport to crank up miles and funds for a charity close to her heart.

On National Fitness Day, I will be undertaking my first half marathon as well as completing a total of 50 miles in a day combining running, cycling and rowing in our city campus courtyard in honour of my dad and to raise awareness and funds for Blood Cancer UK.

In December 2019, my world turned upside down, when my dad, who had been perfectly fit and well, was diagnosed with AML leukaemia. It has been a life-changing experience to see first-hand the journey of a leukaemia patient having to endure periods of weeks and months in hospital for very intensive treatment.

As a daughter, I could not have been more proud of my dad for the courage and bravery he showed in his fight against leukaemia. Sadly, he lost his battle in July 2020 when his cancer returned, and treatment was delayed as a consequence of the pandemic. It is this reason I am undertaking this challenge in his memory and for all those on a similar journey fighting their battle with blood cancer or living with the scars, it leaves behind.

At the time of my dad’s diagnosis, I was six months pregnant, and it was a very difficult time for all the family and our lives were turned upside down. With no previous experience of leukaemia, it was also a shock to learn the intensity of the treatment and that he would be facing weeks and months in hospital for each round of chemotherapy.

Blood Cancer UK became a lifeline in providing both my dad and the family with information to help us understand ‘what happens now’ after the diagnosis. Blood Cancer UK became a key source of information and helps us understand the journey he was on. As time went on, we also realised the critical work and impact that Blood Cancer UK has in transforming the treatment of blood cancer patients to improve outcomes and give the best chance of cure.

Before my pregnancy, I had been really focused on my running and fitness. I had found my stride with fitness a couple of years beforehand, and it became an integral part of my lifestyle - something I became really passionate about. I was keen on keeping fit during pregnancy and kept up the gym and running with less intensity and post my dad’s diagnosis I had less time because of visiting but found going to the gym a really important time to process things.

After having my son in March 2020 - just a couple of days before the first lockdown - I started running again (slowly). Five and half weeks post-partum and found it was again, a really useful headspace to deal with my dad’s ongoing treatment and the increased uncertainty owing to the pandemic.

I am passionate about both the physical and mental health benefits of sport and fitness and it has helped me through the most difficult times of my life recently. As fitness has been something I have turned to, it seemed the most fitting tribute to both to set myself a personal fitness challenge, one that will really test me and require a lot of hard training.

That’s why I have reached out to WLV Sport, to encourage my fellow colleagues to explore the benefits of being active and hope you too, will pledge to join a one-day challenge to help support Blood Cancer UK.

A Team WLV Challenge has been created with an aim for us, together as a University, to travel the distance of River Severn by completing 220 miles on National Fitness Day (September 21).

I am determined to do something positive in my dad’s memory and raise funds for this fantastic charity.

So, I ask my friends, colleagues, and students to take a break away from their desks, pop their trainers on, come to the city campus courtyard and join the challenge come September 21. Who’s with me?

To donate to Blood Cancer UK, via Rebecca’s Just Giving page click here.

To sign up for the challenge, please contact Lee Hardwick.

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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