A young man from Coleraine is urging people from across Northern Ireland to get absolutely ‘boggin’ to help support children and young people diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer Fund for Children’s Bog Run will return to Castlewellan Forest Park on Sunday 6th October and Archie Quinn (25) hopes that hundreds of local people will get stuck in to this 5K mud run to raise vital funds for the charity that supported him when he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in August 2016, a date Archie said he will never forget. Speaking about his cancer Archie said,
“Throughout my teens I had been a confident, positive, energetic type of guy with great ambitions. I always wanted to be the best at everything I set my mind to which also brought out my competitive side on some occasions. Losing was not an option.
“By the time I reached 22 years old I had a great job, amazing friends and family around me and was enjoying life as any 22-year-old should be. I had made a big decision to travel to Australia, one of the things on my bucket list that I was finally getting to tick off. Life couldn’t have been better.
“It was in the months leading up to my trip to Australia that things slowly started to go downhill. I had bad headaches, sore bones and tiredness all the time. Things were happening to me that I had never experienced before.
“I will never forget the day I was told I had cancer. At first my emotions were very neutral because I had no idea what was ahead of me. But being strong-minded and confident I told myself ‘its ok I’ve got this’. As time went on I began to realise that cancer not only has an impact on you physically but also mentally. I found myself slowly feeling more and more drained. A few weeks into my treatment I came to the realisation that this was not something I could do on my own and it wasn’t going to get any easier.
This was when Cancer Fund for Children stepped in. The charity understands that beyond the essential medical care there is a young life that needs to be rebuilt and they provide young people like Archie with practical and emotional support. Arche said,
“A few weeks into my treatment I was introduced to Cancer Fund for Children. One of their Cancer Support Specialists visited me weekly in hospital. This was a much needed distraction and it was great to be able to talk to someone when you’re having an off day. These things made such an impact when you’re restricted to staying inside 24/7. Cancer Fund for Children were always there to make sure I was stress free and to make my experience as easy as possible.
“They also provided me with group support sessions with other young people like me. It didn’t cross my mind at the time that there would be people my age coping with cancer. It was a breath of fresh air being able to speak to other young people going through a similar experience and knowing that I was not alone on this journey. Cancer Fund for Children made this all possible.”
Last year Archie took part in Cancer Fund for Children’s Bog Run to give back to the charity that supported him and he is calling on local people to sign up this mud run to help other young people like him who could be hearing for the first time that they have cancer. Archie said,
“I would encourage people take on the bog for this amazing cause. Cancer Fund for Children go above and beyond to help young people going through tough times. As well as raising much needed money by taking part, the Bog Run will be one of the best experiences you will ever do! Its muddy, wet, and cold, but you will feel a great sense of satisfaction when you cross that finish line knowing you have conquered the bog and helped others while doing so!”
While the Bog Run can be quite physically challenging, you don’t need to be a gym bunny or marathon runner to give it a go. The event is open to anyone over the age of 12. Registration for the event is £20 with minimum sponsorship of £80 for anyone aged 18+, and minimum sponsorship of £50 for age 12-17. Participants will receive a free fundraising pack when they register as well as a goody bag and Bog Run medal for finishing the challenge.
Funds raised from the Bog Run will help Cancer Fund for Children to provide practical, and emotional and support, as well as free therapeutic short breaks to children and young people to help them cope with the devastating impact cancer has on their lives.
Sign up now, go to www.cancerfundforchildren.com