>The Big Push

>This is it — I leave tomorrow. No amount of training walks, gym sessions, or voodoo can help me now, in less than 24 hours I will be on a plane bound for Peru.

I need to give special thanks to everyone who has donated recently, I owe all of you a huge thank you for your support, you all know what a difference your money can make to Macmillan, and I am endlessly grateful.

So here we go. Your next update from me will be in just over 10 days’ time, when I return — which is probably a shorter time than usual between updates.

Thank you to everyone who has come here to show me your support, and a thousand thank yous to everyone who has donated their hard-earned money. My total so far is currently standing at £3,880, so there’s less than £150 to go before we hit the big £4k. Anyone that wants to take this time to push it that bit closer, please feel free.

On the trail — along with before and after — I’ll be keeping a journal and dutifully snapping pictures, so I hope to have something to reward you all with on my return.

Thanks again — and see you soon!

>Six days

>
There is now officially less than ONE WEEK to go until I leave for Peru.

I’ve got the walking boots, the walking poles, the 3-season sleeping bag for the sub-zero night temperatures. I have the various supplements and medications to keep my knees working (and me walking) and together we have raised £3,775 — not including promised sponsorships on paper.

But with your help, I can still raise even more. Everything you donate from here goes 100% to Macmillan Cancer Support, the whole reason for this trip. When I am climbing 4,200m to Dead Woman’s Pass or crossing the Urubamba river on a rope bridge, remember I am doing it all for Macmillan, and the people they help every day.

It promises to be an exhausting trip — which is probably why it’s called a hiking “challenge” — but I wouldn’t be going at all if it wasn’t for your support, and I should mention the support of First Group who have been more than generous with sponsorship, too.

I owe a massive debt of gratitude to everyone for their donations so far, for everyone who has come to fundraising events and anyone who just joined the group to give me moral support, and invited their friends. I have the hardest part ahead of me still to come — but if I don’t get a chance to update before I go, thank you all.

I hope by raising money for Macmillan this once-in-a-lifetime trip will go some way to being a tribute to my aunt, and to my very special family.

Don’t forget, you can still donate online and help me raise even more at
http://justgiving.com/jameschesters

>May 8 update

>Now it’s getting really close — as of today, it’s 21 days until the big challenge. So far the updates have all been about me — my fundraising, my training, requests for more donations. But I want to take some time to remember the whole reason I am doing this challenge.

1 in 3 people will have cancer, of some kind, at some point in their lives. To put that into perspective a little, 25 people who have joined this group will one day suffer from some form of cancer. Think of your groups of friends and your immediate family — what does 1 in 3 represent? Even if personally we won’t have cancer ourselves, we are all affected.

Macmillan Cancer Support, in their own words, provide people with practical, medical, emotional and financial support — and push for better cancer care.

Macmillan are literally a source of support, helping with all the things that people affected by cancer want and need. It’s not only patients who live with cancer, so they are there to also help carers, families and communities. Macmillan guide people through the system, supporting them every step of the way.

They fund nurses and other specialist health care professionals and build cancer care centres. But they give so much more than medical help.

People need practical support at home, so Macmillan provide anything from some precious time off for a carer, to a lift to hospital. People need emotional support, so they listen, advise and share information though their CancerLine, website, support groups and trained professionals. People need financial help to cope with the extra costs cancer can bring, so Macmillan give benefits advice, and grants for anything from heating bills to travel costs.

Together Macmillan listen, learn, and act to help people live with cancer.

This is the reason why I am going to Peru, so that Macmillan can carry on giving support, and keep giving help to the people that really need it.

Macmillan have been there for my family, just as they are there every day for so many others.