I am taking part in what I was lead to believe was a 10k cross country assault course, which has now turned into 14k (not quite sure how) called Hell and Back, this is one of Ireland's toughest challenges please click on the link to see for yourself what it entails. If you would like to make a donation no matter how small I know Graham would be eternally grateful. http://www.hellandback.ieVideos.aspx
I am taking part in this to help raise money for a family friend to help him get treatment needed to treat a rare tumour he has on his spine. Graham is only 20 years old and has been battling with cancer since he was 14. Here is his story in his own words.
Hi, my name is Graham Parkinson from Dublin Ireland, I am 20 years old and I have been battling cancer for the last six and a half years. I have a rare tumour in my lower back, it is called a malignant peripheral nerve sheath.
I first discovered I had cancer in the year 2007. I wasn't able to go to the toilet as I felt a lot of pain. I was taken to Temple Street Hospital where they found the pain was coming from a tumour in my lower back. I was transferred to Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin to start chemotherapy treatment. I was just fourteen, still a child and terrified of the unknown. The nurse inserted a Hickman line so they could administer chemotherapy or other medications. Mum and I called it "FREDDIE".
Soon after this I went to St Luke's for radiotherapy. I have been to the UK twice for surgery to an Orthopaedic Hospital. The rollercoaster of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery has left its mark both physically and emotionally on me and my family. Mum has been my rock every step of the way. I know most people adore their mother's but I have been blessed with the best. She has been by my side through it all even if that meant sleeping on chairs in hospitals beside me for all the years. I thank God for her as I don't think I could have got this far without her.
I left school at a young age and the constant treatments and operations took away my dream of playing football. Football was all I could think about while I was going through treatment. I was constantly asking the doctors when I would be able to get back to playing football. It was all I wanted.
Cancer took away most of my childhood. I suppose I did not realise at the time how serious my condition was but I could see all of my friends out playing football, enjoying themselves with not a care in the world while I was stuck in hospital for long periods of time. I couldn't understand why this happened to me, why not leave me alone.
After what seemed like an endless amount of treatments I was clear of cancer for nearly 4 years and I immediately got back to playing football. I was so happy, I felt I could get on with my life. Then in April of last year we were hit with another bombshell when the doctor gave us the results of my MRI scan. The cancer was back. It was a nightmare, my 3rd time why me again, why did the cancer come back when I was at a happy time in my life.
I was sent over to the UK to discuss treatments and surgery. I had severe pain all over my body and I learned the surgeon could not operate on me because the tumour had grown too big. I am just 20 years old, I have tried to make lifestyle changes with my diet and exercise so that I can keep going on living as I am.
I am desperately trying to raise the money to go to a hospital in Germany for the treatment needed to shrink this tumour. The treatment is not available in Ireland. If you can help me in any way possible I would be more than grateful. This treatment is my only hope and it could possibly save my life.
A million thanks for taking the time and for caring.