When our friends first approached me to ask what I thought about them doing something to raise money for us it made me cringe a little.
I didn’t want them to think of us in a sympathetic way, didn’t want to be thought of as a family that weren’t able to cope, that needed charity.
I wanted war cries, positivity and strength not sympathy. Not people feeling sorry for him, for us, for our shitty luck.
Chris is normally the one undertaking challenges to raise money for charity. Just last year, during a particularly nasty ‘gout’ attack he completed the Great Manchester Cycle and Great Manchester Swim for St Marys, who are so close to our hearts after all they did for Sam and I. The consultant couldn’t quite believe what he’d been doing on the massive tumour when we told him this.
It didn’t take me long to understand that they need to do something for him because he is close to their hearts.
That this is their way of helping when they feel helpless, their way of showing him he’s loved.
This was them showing strength and solidarity in the best way they knew how.
I made a promise to Chris and the kids, to myself, that we would keep things as normal as possible. That we would adapt, move forward and continue to live our lives even in the darkest of moments. Some changes would have to be made, but we would try to not change who we are or what we do.
Because I need him to know that he is going through all of this treatment to live a good and full life when this nightmare is all over.
I need him to know that eventually he will be able to do everything he always has.
That he will be able to run, that he will be able to cycle, that he will be able to play in the garden with the kids, go on holiday, that one day he will be able to walk Lily down the aisle, that this will not stop him doing all the things he enjoys.
To keep my promise I need him to know that he will have options for a prosthetic leg. A leg that will allow him to do all those things and anything else he wants to try.
I realise that I’m not going to be able to keep this promise to him alone. To have options he’s going to need money.
The NHS can provide fantastic prosthetics but not that you can run with.
So we said yes, that if they raised money then it would be for a leg for him and only for that.
In a couple of weeks we’ll all be ‘Getting Legless’ at a sold out charity night, who knew he was so popular.
This weekend, starting really early in the morning on the 15th April, 35 amazing friends, #teamcowley, will be undertaking the massive challenge of completing the 3 peaks, Ben Nevis, Scarfell Pike and Snowdon, within 24 hours.
The training and dedication that has gone into the challenge, the fact people are pushing themselves and have taken the day off work and away from their families to take part is completely humbling.
They are coming from far and wide, for Chris.
I’m not sure they’ll ever understand how much this means to me, to us.
That their support now will help Chris have the future he deserves.
I know that it was pride that made me cringe at first, I’m glad I didn’t let it get in the way of accepting help, I couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of them.
To those taking part, good luck and to anyone who supports us now or in the future, thank you will never be enough.