Sunday, 11 August 2013

Race For Life

Today I thought I would do something different, something to help others and to keep me around people. I volunteered to help at the local race for life where people run to collect money for research into cancer.
I arrived nice and early and went to the area I was told to go to. I was given a T Shirt, Marshalls waistcoat and a radio. I was to stand at position 10 along the course and make sure that everyone was ok, stayed away from the waters edge and the uneven ground. I wasn't shown how to use the radio but thought it can't be much harder than a walky talky.
I got into my position and had an hour to go until the race started. The sun was shining on the lake and the swans were swimming around. After a few minutes a crowd of men with large drums came and pitched up next to me - a samba band. I smiled and said hello but it was like I was invisible. They carried on their preparations.
The race started and so did the loud drumming in my ear! So many inspirational people running for loved ones, people suffering now and people they had lost through cancer. Everyone was wearing pink, some in fancy dress, some tied together, one group holding a long ribbon.
A lady collapsed in front of me and I had to use the radio to get an ambulance. She had tried to run with a chest infection.
The last walker was an elderly lady walking with a Zimmer frame. Such a strong, proud lady. I stayed with her until she crossed the finish line - today's battle done.
What about me? I felt inspired by the courage today and commitment, but how can you be in the middle of all that and still feel so alone and invisible. I guess I wanted to belong and to connect but in reality no one spoke to me and I was alone. There was no volunteering team - just people who volunteer.
I would do it again as I think I made a good Marshall no 10 and I can use a radio now but no one would notice if I wasn't there and no one would care.
I feel very alone and losing the will to keep going and trying to do different things like today - it makes no difference as I still hurt and I'm still frightened of how much I want to die.