Dave Evanson lost his mother to ovarian cancer last year, just five weeks after diagnosis. He is now taking on as many challenges as he can to raise money for research and to raise awareness, so that others can be diagnosed earlier.
“Mum was a very active 68 year old woman. She pottered around the house doing various jobs and enjoyed going for family walks or days out to do a spot of shopping. She started to experience feelings of grogginess and just generally feeling unwell in January 2016 but put it down to being ‘under the weather’.
Our last family day out was for Mother’s Day when we went to Llangollen. It was a beautiful day out.
In the weeks after this Mum went to her GP four times, each time stating the symptoms. She was originally treated for a tummy bug and given medication to treat diarrhoea.
On 20 April my Dad pushed a different GP for answers and she was concerned that Mum appeared dehydrated, so she was admitted to hospital. After two stressful weeks of waiting for answers Mum was diagnosed with a secondary cancer on the liver, but they weren’t able to commit to where the primary was.
On 16 May Dad and I were invited to a meeting with the oncologist. We were told that Mum had ovarian cancer and because it had been caught too late, there was nothing they could do to help her. She didn’t have long left.
Sadly Mum passed away on 26 May after complications following a dose of chemotherapy, which had weakened her to the point where her body began to shut down.
Five weeks is nothing really. We were just about able to say goodbye. But that was the worst thing – we didn’t want to but we didn’t want her to suffer either.
The next few weeks and months were somewhat of a blur. Both Dad and I were coping but only just! I remember thinking just after Mum died that there must be something that can be done to prevent other families from going through what we did.
"In January I decided to try and challenge myself to spread awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and raise funds for Ovarian Cancer Action."Dave Evanson
My goal is to take part in as many running events as I can over the year, of various distances, which are designed to push me and also publicise what I’m doing.
It’s been a challenging couple of months to get where I am today. I participated in my first 10km race on Sunday 21 March around my hometown of Shrewsbury, proudly wearing my Ovarian Cancer Action t-shirt. I completed the race in 58 mins 43 seconds, which is a time I’m delighted with.
The course was very challenging as it was rather hilly but the support from the crowds and fellow runners helped me through to the end.
I have a further four runs planned so far including the Shrewsbury half marathon and a 20km Cross Country run around Cannock Chase. My next race is another 10km in Whitchurch (Shropshire) on Sunday 9 April and then I’m building the distances to be ready for the half marathon distance. Other fundraisers I’m planning include a Race Night and a coffee morning.
My initial target was to raise £500 pounds for Ovarian Cancer Action however I’ve already surpassed that total with the current amount at £825, so I’d like to hit the £1,000 mark in the coming weeks and months.
Mum was a caring person and put herself out for people all the time. She lived for her family and was very brave and determined, even when facing death. What I am aiming to achieve could make a huge impact to someone’s life. If I what I’m doing helps save other families the heartache my family has been through then it will be all worthwhile.”
Would you like to take on a running challenge and raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre? Find out more about our Challenge Events and how to get involved here.