May 25, 2015

Thank you for your support & generosity

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Lots to report on this weekend with three events having taken place:

Ally Davies volunteered (again) along with Margot's auntie Charlotte

Ally Davies volunteered to help out (again) along with Margot’s auntie Charlotte

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An unstoppable duo: Sarah & Claire (front left) with their team of volunteers

Team Margot Wednesbury

Sarah Bagnell & Claire Bull are seemingly unstoppable. This weekend they held another donor registration event, at The Croft in Wednesbury signing up another 30 potential new donors and raising £656.00 for Delete Blood Cancer UK in the process.

There was quite a lot of other activity going on besides, which was advertised as a Family Fun Day. Activities included:


imageimageBouncing Castle, Candy Cart, Team Margot stall with Cup Cakes, The Margot Bow, Lapel Pins Team Margot Bands, a BBQ, Face Painting, Nail Art / Glitter Tattoos and a performance by ‘Phase 12’ Dance Team.

Plus Raffle prizes in addition.

Well done again ladies and also to everyone involved.


London to Brighton Ultra Challenge

Whilst all this was going on, down south Emma Stephens & friends were beginning their mammoth task of walking from London to Brighton, non-stop.

Emma walked in memory of Margot raising a huge amount of money for Delete Blood Cancer UK and also encouraging 8 people to join the stem cell register in the process.

I cannot begin to do credit to this incredible feat of physical endurance, so I have instead copied & pasted Emma’s email to Nadia & I below, for you to read.

Thank you Emma !

Elsewhere, in North Africa… Sara Logie & Jim Henson are married in Morocco

(l-r) Caren, Vicki, Sara & Sue

(l-r) Caren, Vicki, Sara & Sue

The new Mr & Mrs Henson

The new Mr & Mrs Henson

I have known Sara since my student days in Nottingham and this weekend she married her long time love Jim, holding a wonderful ceremony in the mountains south of Marrakech.

Vicki & I were privileged to attend and were extremely touched when Sara & Jim declared that they didn’t want the usual wedding gifts, but instead asked that any guests wishing to make a gift might do so by way of a donation in favour of Team Margot Foundation.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to know what to say, but from the bottom of our hearts, thank you both so much again and also to everyone who has very kindly donated.

What a weekend !

Team Margot
Together, saving lives

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Below is the email we received from Emma Stephens following her London to Brighton Ultra challenge:

imageimageHi Yaser & Nadia,

I hope you are having a lovely bank holiday weekend.

Well, they call L2B an Ultra Challenge and now we know why! As I am full of elation, I thought I’d tell you the story….

First ‘half’ 0-56km
After an excitable and emotionally charged start we (the Surrey Hills Sisters with Blisters) settled well into our training pace and enjoyed some great river views, inspiring chats with fellow walkers and fun team banter. The first major 25km rest stop saw treatment of our first blisters, nothing major at this stage, and we were in fine form to carry on. Thereafter 25-40km saw us walking through our ‘homeland’ – the Surrey Hills – it felt like well trodden ground, so we strode confidently through it. We also saw a number of our friends supporting us roadside along this stretch which gave us an enormous boost. After the 40km rest stop, the final 16km to the 56km ‘half way’ (aka dinner) stop was tough – we were tired, the light was fading and we had worsening blisters that needed attention. Sadly one of my teammates (who had suffered a horrid stomach bug in the week) had to retire at 56km. We are really proud of her, she dug deep.

Second ‘half’ 57-100km
imageimageAfter some food, more blister care and a tearful goodbye to our teammate, we ‘layered up’ and set off around 11pm with head torches on for the night stretch. This is where the real grind started; narrow uneven paths, the ‘stop/start’ of stiles and the battle against the body clock. The nighttime rest stop was nothing short of grim – lots of dropouts, people being unwell under tables and bucketloads of tears but we quietly taped up our feet some more and carried on – we didn’t talk much at all but stayed close together. Birdsong at 4am was wonderful, as was the red glow of sunrise creeping up around 4.30 a.m – dawn was very welcome! The nighttime stretch saw us reach the 80km marker. Brilliant surely – but all we could focus on was that there was still 20km to go (that’s c.half a marathon!) – with more Compeed plasters on our feet than on the shelves of Boots and with my hips excruciatingly sore, we really were not in a good place. Along came our salvation in the form our my old friend Louise on her pushbike with some ‘posh hot chocolate’ for us at the 88km rest stop. She brightened our spirits, although we were then at the foot of the South Downs. We thought it would finish us off, but our North Downs training saw us good and we aced the climb – the pressure on our feet was different to that on flat so we seemed to fly up it. The last 10km dragged and dragged….the excitement was building, our friends and family were congregating at the finish line but each milestone marker just took forever to reach.

The 99km marker was amazing – we relaxed and we laughed. The walk to the finish line was special – our lost teammate walked up for a tearful ‘group hug’ and we were greeted by banners and our little ones running into our arms. Suddenly we each had the strength to lift 2 children each (for a brief moment!). Then we took our walk together over the finish with huge smiles on our faces.

1,605 people started the 100km walk, but just 1,137 finished. It was super-tough. We completed it in 26 hours and 18 minutes. I received more pledges throughout and my total has just exceeded £3,500 for Delete Blood Cancer UK. I completed it in memory of Margot and her wonderful legacy and to that end I am even more proud to say that 8 friends/colleagues sent me screenshots of their DBC swab kit registrations whilst I was walking, which was hugely uplifting. ‘Just’ 8 I know, but like you just said in your recent blog….over time, we will get there!

Lots of love,
Emma xxx

Husband to Vicki and father to Oscar (2007), Rufus (2008), Digby (2015) & Margot (2012-2014)

Posted in: Journal