There are so many people, like Naoki and myself, who are struggling to find a way to live with enormous challenges. Together, I hoped we might be able to help and guide people in today's world, because disability, disease, accident and bereavement are life-changing events that we all have to face.
My dad was a 40-a-day man - cigarettes not press-ups. He was one of the pre-war generation who started smoking as a teenager and, sadly, became addicted. My memories were of him lighting up a life-saving fag the minute he woke up in the morning - and that pretty much continued throughout the day.
Negative thinking has an equal place and should never be suppressed or substituted. As human beings, we are not wired to ignore bad things and it is important to face up to the one fact that is undeniable: we are all going to die.
This Sunday three of my colleagues and I will be attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the Fastest Marathon time in a Four Person Costume - we all work as captains and cabin crew for Monarch Airlines so unsurprisingly our costume is an aeroplane!
My journey to running the marathon started three years ago when I was diagnosed with stage four mouth and throat cancer. During surgery, I died twice on the operating table, and aggressive radiotherapy meant I developed motor neurone disease. I'm not in remission yet, I have another two years to go and I take medication to control my pain. I'm effectively a 'time bomb', but have chosen to push myself and keep busy, living life to the fullest - because the alternative is to sit around feeling sorry for myself.
Now, with the £20 million they recently received through our Grand Challenge award, they aim to fill in these gaps and tie these patterns to a cause. Their goal is to dramatically improve our understanding of what causes cancer, potentially preventing more cases in the future.
Back in 2010, I would never have predicted that when my friend, Brian Greenley, was diagnosed with bowel cancer, the letters that I offered to write to him would change both our lives... The letters began and over the next two years, as Brian's cancer developed to stage four, I kept on writing.
I am sure that there is a perception that there must be a link between mind and body. Hence the expectation that if one remains positive, then the body will heal itself. As a cancer patient, one is struck by the positive approach that other patients take on as they undergo treatment with an admirable sense of optimism, until they die.
Through the cabin window, the earth blends with the sky in a haze of pinks, purples and reds. I am flying back into London. This last week - a week...
This is what I call the hierarchy of suffering and I want to challenge it. It's a way of thinking that says because I have this cancer, my suffering trumps yours. My friend did not call to tell me about her accident because, in her mind, her suffering is lower down in this pyramid. She is not worthy of my sympathy.
But if I can make it through all the other days in the year without my mum then why is this one random Sunday any different? Mother's Day is just another day on the calendar isn't it? But somehow, it's not. For me, there are three main reasons why it's such a difficult time of year:
At 17, I thought I was just a healthy average teenager, I ate well, exercised a lot and generally took care of my body. I was never ill other than catching a cold. But that changed when my skin started to become very itchy, and I developed rashes that wouldn't go away.
The Facebook algorithm in my feed has obviously clocked my line of work, so I get sponsored posts served up to me every now and then that promise miracle, and utterly implausible, cancer cures. They are slickly professional and they look frighteningly legitimate.
Think of a tumour like a rapidly growing city within a patient's body. Doctors can scan the patient to locate the tumour, much like a satellite can scan the earth and map its cities. And scientists can get a sense of the tumour at 'street level' by looking at its communities of cells through tissue samples and gene-sequencing technology.
"Help", I thought to myself, I need to un-hear what I am being told. I'm sat opposite the specialist and he is telling me I have kidney cancer. Not what I thought would happen to a fit forty something. Yet, there I was being told it needed to come out, as soon as possible. Then a year and a day later I lost my husband to the same awful disease.
Back in March of 2016 I was 40 years old, very overweight (7 stone to be precise as I've heard that sharing personal details makes my story speak to people) and totally inactive. Then the bombshell hit that my step-mum, Hilary, had been diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer.