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Meet the DCCT 'Rundraiser' Active Recovery dream team

Active Recovery members at the Family Fun Run

We welcome hundreds of people to take part in the Derby 10K and Family Fun Run every year, with many setting themselves personal targets and fundraising challenges.  

One group that annually run and raise are participants from our Active Recovery programme. They took part in this year's Family Fun Run, sponsored by Lead I.T. Services, to raise money for future projects and programmes at Derby County Community Trust.

Active Recovery was launched in 2017 and aims to support those who have undergone cancer treatment to regain confidence, fitness and strength which can all be affected by chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.

By becoming 'rundraisers', this group have shown strength and determination to get over the line, each with their own incredible story.

Christina joined Active Recovery three years ago and started by doing the gym exercises at the Derby arena.

Setting herself the challenge of the Family Fun Run felt only right for Christina, who has alway been an active person. Prior to her cancer diagnosis, Christina was running, mountain walking and cycling. 

''My biggest achievement was doing this run. It was the first run I’ve done since my diagnosis and the first thing I’ve achieved since joining this group.

You've got a good team here that rallies together, we encourage each other, and everybody supports you.''

Christina, DCCT Participant 

Christina began to feel tired towards the end of the run but was determined to keep going, which was only fuelled by the support from everyone who attended. ''That encouragement at the end is everything. They’re on either side. I don’t know them, they don’t know me but it’s amazing. It felt like a big family occasion.''

Chris was diagnosed with cancer five years ago and was told about Active Recovery at the end of her treatment. Just like Christina, Chris started by going to the gym, doing various exercises, yoga and aqua aerobics.

Due to personal issues, Chris was doubting whether she would be able to participate in this year's event.

As well as her cancer diagnosis, Chris had two knee replacements and was seriously ill before Christmas. Her involvement in the Fun Run was looking more unlikely.

But the support received from all the other participants gave her the encouragement really needed.

''They are the most amazing people on this earth. My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year. When he went through his chemo… they all kept in contact me and checked in with me... they got us flowers. The friends we have made are incredible''.

Chris, DCCT Participant

Determined to bounce back, Chris returned to the gym to work on her fitness and worked with DCCT staff to get back on track. "When I was feeling better and back at the gym, I asked Lee if he thought I could do it… he did and here I am… it’s magic!"

Chris went on to say: "I don’t think I could have done it without having Lee encouraging us. He told me I would feel the emotion and I did. I saw my son near the finish line. Denise was there too, and I just collapsed into her arms."

Just like her friends in the the Active Recovery group, Chris wanted to give something back to the team. "All the staff… Hannah, Jess… all of them… I don’t know how they cope with us all! You always want to give something back to them, and we feel we are by doing this."

Ellen joined Active Recovery programme five years ago, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. 

Constant support has been key for many of those that have been involved in the programme, which is no different when it came to the Family Fun Run and Ellen.

"It’s great to know the support is there. I couldn’t have done the run without Lee… he’s been such an encouragement with the other girls too.

''Halfway around, I walked a little bit, but it felt brilliant that I have achieved something. You hear the cheering, I just felt I needed to go faster. I kept saying ‘I’m only doing the 3K’… but it’s not just ‘only’… it was a big achievement for all of us!'' 

Ellen, DCCT Participant 

Lizz was diagnosed with breast cancer before having surgery and radiotherapy. 

From yoga, to aqua aerobics... Lizz gets involved in a lot of the activities put on by staff under the Active Recovery programme, keeping her occupied and her mind away from cancer. 

Lizz wanted to give something back to the team too, which is why she did the 3K run. ''They are like a big blanket really… they wrap you up and look after you to provide comfort. They inspire you and I feel I have got my life back after cancer."

Lizz believes her attitude to life has changed too, thanks to Active Recovery and the advice given by all staff members running the programme. 

''People think it will be all doom and gloom… death and dying. We don’t talk about cancer, but this programme has changed my thinking. I lost my sister to cancer, and I miss her so much. I also lost my brother to MND recently too, and I think life is just so precious. You must be strong. With staff like Lee and Hannah… they always say, ‘if you need anything, reach out’ and I do. They keep me strong.''

Lizz, DCCT Participant 

Lizz feels she would have noticed a difference in her life without the programme and the challenge of a 3K run. Lizz said; 'I would be at home isolated and thinking about everything. That wouldn’t be good for my mental health, but this programme just helps you want to keep fighting the cancer.''

You can still help them with their fundraising targets!

Donate here

If you or someone you know could benefit from Active Recovery, click below:

Active Recovery

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