Today, Jimmy Harris completes his 192 mile coast to coast walk. Here he explains why he decided to take up the challenge:
“In 2016 while racing for a professional cycling team, Podium Ambition, my daughter collapsed and was taken to hospital. Following tests she was found to have ovarian cancer at age 28.
One in five women survive ovarian cancer. After an extensive operation my daughter made a successful recovery. I remember the feeling of helplessness when I was first told the news of her condition, and then after the operation she was given the all clear. My feelings at this time were like the re-birth of my daughter and the unbelievable relief that she had a second chance at life. I was in tears. Then my thoughts went to the other 4 families that would have not been as lucky as us and how their lives must have changed after the sad loss of their daughter, mother, sister, aunt or even friend. G.R.A.C.E. is a charity set up by the gynaeoncologist who operated on Elizabeth. He saved her life and gave her the option of her own family in the future. An option that years ago would not have been possible but now with ongoing research and advancing techniques GRACE are able to save lives and minimise the impact this distressing time may have for the families involved.
In the UK there is no national screening programme to detect ovarian cancer, unfortunately it is the reason the survival is so poor. By the time symptoms appear it is often too late. There is no definitive test but there are indicators and a combination of these may highlight women at risk. Something still in the pipeline and something I hope to see make it into our national screening programme.
I am passionate to help and so I have decided to take on the Wainwright coast to coast walk. My trek will be 192 miles long walking from one coast to the other and will be self funded. During the trek I will be posting updates to keep all of you updated. I might even show you how sore my feet are :) The aim is to raise as much awareness about the great work GRACE is doing so other families like mine can be helped.
Please donate whatever you can to help with the good work that GRACE are carrying out for these women.”