With a month to go to the London Marathon, I thought I would let people know how I am getting on with my training and fundraising. The wet weather that was somewhat dampening my spirits in my last blog, then turned to snow and ice! But now, as the mornings and evenings grow slightly brighter, in theory it should be easier to get out, however the tempo of Parliamentary life has not been helpful!
I have managed the occasional training run, and recently did a long run through Barnsley: the Town, Worsbrough Common, Monk Bretton, Lundwood, Athersley, Staincross, Mapplewell, Darton and up to Royston. Being in Westminster during the week also offers me the odd opportunity to train in the capital. A recent route along the Southbank took me past some of the most iconic buildings and landmarks the capital has to offer, from the London eye, via the various riverside attractions such as the Globe Theatre, Sea Containers House, and HMS Belfast and over the river to the Tower of London. Running in the midst of such history offers a welcome distraction from the hard graft that proper training for a marathon requires. It is also a fantastic reminder of the culture and heritage that is so much a part of the fabric of London.
Since I last wrote, I’ve been working hard in Parliament, asking questions of Health Ministers about brain cancer treatment, cancer survival rates and the NHS reforms on behalf of my Barnsley Central constituents. The issue of early diagnosis remains extremely important to me, and I again encourage everyone to be proactive in the fight against cancer, by getting to know the signs and symptoms. If anyone needs any further information, Cancer Research UK’s Spot Cancer Early website is very helpful (http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/spotcancerearly/). You can also contact their nurses with specific questions on 0808 800 4040.
One interesting development over recent months was that Australia introduced standard cigarette packs. This proves that the move is possible, and it is something that I would like to see introduced here. The decision has meant that children aren’t exposed to glitzy, attractive packs any more, and the Australian Health Minister Tanya Plibersek recently commented that there has been the additional benefit of an increase in the number of smokers calling the Quitline. If you would like to get involved in the campaign, you can read more here: https://action.cancerresearchuk.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=149&ea.campaign.id=16993.
Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those who have donated on my Justgiving page; every penny really is much appreciated. Quite a lot of people have donated anonymously. I understand why people do that and I’m hugely grateful – whoever you are! I’m very aware that donating money is a big ask, but 90% of donations to Cancer Research UK are under £10 and you don’t need to give a lot to make a difference to people’s lives.
If you would like to help me raise funds for Cancer Research UK you can sponsor me via my Justgiving website: www.justgiving.com/danjarvismp.