"It has taken me nearly seven years to be able to talk more openly about it, but now I am more determined than ever to reach the £1000 mark"

Drew Meakin

This September, supporter Drew Meakin is gearing up to take on the Great North Run. Here he talks training, fundraising and what motivated him to take on this challenge for Ovarian Cancer Action...

"I don’t know how many times I have been asked why I'm raising funds for Ovarian Cancer Action. Sometimes it’s easy to discuss, sometimes it’s frustrating.

I started to fundraise for OCA back in 2014 as I have been aiming for the magical £1000 mark, so that my Mum’s name can be added to the Tribute Wall at the Ovarian Cancer Research Centre.

Mum was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after being admitted to hospital, but unfortunately by the time it was caught, it was at a stage where it was non-curable. Mum fought on for nearly two years but passed away in October 2010, two weeks before my son — who would’ve been her first grandchild — was born. That’s why it’s sometimes difficult to discuss. 

It has taken me nearly seven years to be able to talk more openly about it, but now I am more determined than ever to reach the £1000 mark. I also want to raise awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer so that more men will take note; information that could save life of the women in their lives....another vital reason to raise money for OCA!

I raised £400 with the help of my former work colleagues in the HR department at Sky in Livingston. It was great fun as was at Christmas time, so we had a Christmas Bake Off, Christmas Jumper Day and finally a naff raffle (a mix of chintzy prizes and some really good ones).

That was back in 2014 and for a while I lost my mojo. Now I have it back and I’m excited to get stuck into fundraising again. This year I will be running the Great North Run, my first half marathon,  at the ripe old age of 45. I run to keep fit and keep off the beer belly, but also to stay healthy for my two biggest supporters (Finlay, 6 and Phoebe, 4), and my loving wife, Steph. Family life is busy and since taking up running I am fitter than I have ever been — and I can keep up with my wee ones! We used to always watch The Great North Run as a family and I’m proud to finally be taking part, although I would’ve loved Mum to have seen me on the telly.

So, am I ready? YES!  I’ve set up my JustGiving page and text codes; the local paper and community magazines are going to run articles; my sponsorship form is ready and my social media is primed.

Now all I need to do is remain consistent with my training. I run at least three times a week, twice during work lunchtimes (I have to thank my managers, colleagues and Managing Director at Origo for all their moral support — we are a small company but have big hearts).  I also run once a week with my local running group, Linlithgow Runners, who have helped me progress to the half marathon distance and I cannot thank them enough. I’ll be running a warm up 10k in Paisley on 20th August and will have my OCA running vest on.

I’d also like to thank the staff at Ovarian Cancer Action for their hard work and support. They are open and honest about where the money raised goes; I love OCA for this and the fact that money just does not stay in London, it is fed out to research centres across the UK, including Scotland, where I now live and work.

Now the countdown begins to 10th September…. It’s approaching fast. Cannot wait!"