Column: Some very special moments in April for Mandie Stevenson

Mandie Stevenson with consultant Sam Marashi
Mandie Stevenson with consultant Sam Marashi

What a month it has been. My gorgeous nephew Noah was born on Easter Sunday which now feels like a lifetime ago.

He is such a little miracle and the perfect addition to both families.

I vividly remember sitting in Starbucks at Forth Valley Royal Hospital trying to compose myself before meeting him and just could not stop crying.

I still can’t get over how small he is and the love I felt for him the second I had him in my arms.

I know there aresome very special times ahead and can’t wait to watch him grow.

I am still floating on cloud nine right now after the weekend. After all the hard training the Stirling Marathon finally arrived on Sunday.

The Saturday before the marathon I was featured on an STV News at 6pm which was very exciting.

I talked about my training and how it has had such a positive impact on my mental health and I chatted about my cancer diagnosis, bucket list and, finally, the marathon.

I have been so lucky in being able to participate in such things and I am proud of my interview and hope that I have encouraged other people to do the things that they want to do.

The interview is on the STV news website if anyone missed it.

The night before the marathon my friend Danielle invited Ashley and myself over for a carb loaded dinner – a massive portion of macaroni cheese, garlic bread and strawberries and ice cream. What better way to mentally prepare for the marathon than chilling out at dinner with the friends I was running this with.

The marathon was everything and more I hoped it would be. The weather was fantastic, the crowds were amazing and all my friends and family were supporting at various points on the route.

The 26.2 miles were extremely tough and the route had constant hills.

My legs completely cramped and seized at mile 25 but I was determined to get over the finish line.

At the back of my mind was Strathcarron Hospice. More than £3000 pounds has been raised for them thanks to the generosity of all who donated.

It was emotional and equally fantastic to see other runners supporting other charities also.

Thanks to my crazy friends Danielle and Ashley who have previously completed a marathon but agreed to run this one with me to tick of another big thing on my bucket list.

My twin brother was also there crossing the finish line with me – he doesn’t know this but he is my hero.

Finally, there was one last thing for me to do I had to swing by Forth Valley Hospital and let my consultant Sam Marashi know I successfully completed the marathon in 4hr 18mins.

The story behind this is that two and a half years ago when I first mentioned to Sam that I wanted to do the Edinburgh Half Marathon he was understandably not keen at all and suggested a 10k was more than enough for me but I laughed and told him I would prove him wrong.

Sam was proud and supportive as we stood together for a picture, with Sam wearing my medal.

Many thanks to Sam, for providing such incredible care which in turn has allowed me to achieve so much.