Walking For Maggie’s
Our Director of Initiatives Sharon Downie set herself the Maggie’s “50 Miles in January” challenge after first-hand experience of what the charity can do.
Maggie’s in Dundee is a safe haven adjacent to the A&E department. Architecturally unusual and beautiful, the building represents the unusual and beautiful care that is found inside. Designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry the cottage-like building offers a port in the storm to those affected by cancer.
Within those walls, cancer patients and their immediate families are emotionally and psychologically cared for by staff who understand the way cancer courses through people like a shockwave. Staff specialising in cancer care provide help managing stress, processing the emotional toll of treatments and the ramifications of getting and following through a diagnosis. As it is right on hospital grounds it also acts as a more welcoming environment for families when they face long waits during treatments.
Where hospital staff take care of the body and treat the causes of cancer, Maggie’s takes care of the soul and the mind throughout. During a cancer journey, patients are often faced with tough realities and challenging decisions amid a backdrop of uncertainty.
The team at Maggie’s are also on hand to offer practical advice with pragmatic approaches to money, travel, wills and legacies, exercise, and nutrition. One of the things Maggie’s aims to instil is a sense of self so that a person remembers their worth and prioritises themself. Courses are offered that help patients deal practically with the changes to their body aiding in restoring self-image and putting self-care as a priority. The upshot is for people to do something every day that makes them happy and to focus on the small positives that mount up over time to create a positive parallel to the often-demanding treatment and recovery schedules
Sharon’s recovery has not only been aided by Maggie’s but also through working in the Tradeprint Team. She credits the team as being phenomenal, giving her time to feel, heal and grow until she felt balanced and energised enough to return.
This January Sharon will have walked up to 2 miles a day on average to hit the overall target of 50 miles by the end of January. Either heading out with her eldest son or going it alone with an audiobook, Sharon has been really enjoying the challenge.
She is well on track having completed 17 miles by 6th January and having raised £515 to date through her Facebook Fundraising page
Walking has been a way that Sharon has been able to take back control of her physical strength and walk away from her time on the diagnosis and treatment path. As a survivor of cancer, Sharon is well aware that the trek doesn’t end with a flag on the summit, the ongoing recovery, appointments, and aftereffects are life long so knowing that the door to Maggie’s is never locked is a comfort.
Find out all about Maggie’s in Dundee here: maggies.org/our-centres/maggies-dundee (Maggie’s Dundee, Ninewells Hospital, Tom McDonald Avenue, Dundee, DD2 1NH)
We are extremely proud of Sharon for smashing this challenge considering where she was just a year ago. Her headstrong determination and unassuming stoicism is humbling to us all 🧡