Myself and my regional team are joining thousands of people across the world by taking part in the Live Below the Line Challenge. For 5 days, we will be living on £1 a day for food and drink, with the aim of raising funds for Oxfam, to help improve the lives of the world's poorest, at home and abroad...
When siblings Audrey and Jack DuCharme are healthy, they need a breathing treatment each day. Then there's the multiple inhaled medications, the doctors' checkups, and the fear that if they get a cold - which most of us would dismiss as a sniffle - it could put them in hospital, or at least require four daily treatments.
Anyone who wants to be successful in business needs to stay ahead of the game, that's why I've built my career around innovation. From the early days of competing in equestrian competitions and progressing to training and selling horses, I then learned the ropes of internet marketing and set up my own company in my garden shed...
So why go to the Sahara at all? Simple - to help find a way to halt this infuriating disease in its tracks by raising money for research into finding a cure or at least a treatment to slow its progress. Defying varying degrees of sight loss right up to almost total darkness, a group of us are trying to trek 100km across the Moroccan desert in aid of RP Fighting Blindness.
There's no way to avoid technology on a day to day basis, so is there an issue with utilising this online access to the world wide public? It opens up another avenue for individuals to become lazy, but also, it's a great source of widening people's knowledge and understanding of the world around them, and bringing major issues to light.
My facebook timeline was flooded with selfies this morning. Bare-faced, no-filter (ahem) selfies, posted by friends in the name of cancer awareness and asking others to do the same. In my usual bleary-eyed, early morning confusion I couldn't understand why, on a social networking site where most of us scroll mindlessly through the interminable selfies of the people on our friends list every single day, another selfie would help cure cancer.
Even though I work for a charity, I am rubbish at asking for money. Sometimes I feel more apprehensive about the fundraising than the actual training. Like most Brits, I have a deeply ingrained irrational fear of 'bothering' anyone. Yes it is a challenge and yes it can be hard work but I have to keep reminding myself that it's so worth it in the end.
We're talking about actual human beings existing in the twilight of grief and primal fear that comes with cancer. And if a lung, bowel, or pancreatic cancer patient feels, in that horrific state of mind, that it'd be easier to have a more socially acceptable cancer like breast cancer... We can't judge that. What are we doing, policing the private fears of terminally ill people now?