Five years ago I took part in the MoonWalk Scotland to raise money for the breast cancer charity Walk the Walk.
Admittedly, I was coerced into doing it – faced with a roomful of charity officials it was hard to say no. Especially as they were handing over £3 million to give the communities of Forth Valley a Maggie’s cancer caring centre.
I think everyone who reads her story will be moved by the eloquent way she describes what has happened to her
But it is difficult to describe the satisfaction and exhilaration felt a few months later when I completed the 26.2 mile course round Edinburgh. The exhaustion hit later.
Since then, I’m afraid that my charity efforts have been limited to putting my hand in my pocket to reward others’ efforts, and all too often, to make donations at funeral services, many of whom have been for cancer sufferers.
You can imagine how humble I felt when interviewing Mandie Stevenson to discover that despite undergoing treatment for breast cancer and facing a mastectomy, last year she ran the Edinburgh Half Marathon to raise funds for Strathcarron Hospice.
But then everything about Mandie is amazing.
The articulate way she is able to talk about what she has been through, her understanding of what she faces – her condition is terminal – and her dogged determination to make the most of what time she has left.
All this and she is only 27 years old.
I think everyone who reads her story will be moved by the eloquent way she describes what has happened to her.
I feel privileged to have been allowed to help her tell her story.