Lyndon’s eldest sister, Sandra, was diagnosed with terminal cancer shortly before the pandemic. Owner of an outdoors pursuits company, Lyndon and his youngest son, along with members of his staff, have been raising money for Tenovus Cancer Care. His wife has also enjoyed time being a member of the Llanelli Sing with Us choir.
About two years ago, following a tuberculosis outbreak in Llanelli and the symptoms my sister Sandra was experiencing, the local GP sent her for a scan. The results showed she had two tumours, one on each lung. But somehow the notes were lost before there was a chance to contact her about this. Nine months later, the notes were found so Sandra was contacted immediately and sent for scans again.
It turns out she has an aggressive form of cancer which, during this time, had spread to her spine, brain and liver. It was January 2020 when we heard this news, and that her cancer was terminal. She was 54 when she was diagnosed, and her two children lost their father when they were only young, so it’s been tough for her raising the children on her own and then hearing and having to share this devastating news.
I’m forever mountaineering and running, and this year I ran a marathon with my youngest son, who is 12. We are always doing crazy stuff and we’re regularly walking and climbing on the mountains, sometimes in severe minus temperatures with zero visibility. I post what we’re up to on social media for friends and family. After one of the posts, Sandra messaged me to say how much she loved seeing our adventures and I said to her, “Well, why don’t I take you up a mountain too?”
I run an outdoor pursuits company where we provide skydiving, mountaineering, navigation, and first aid courses etc. So, on the 6th of July last year along with five members of staff, one of whom is a cancer survivor herself, we took Sandra up Pen y Fan mountain. It normally takes under two hours to complete, but for Sandra it took about five hours to finish. She was really struggling towards the end, but she was so determined to do every step herself – and she did! As you can imagine, it was very emotional for everyone. This huge achievement meant we raised £500 in donations.
Tenovus Cancer Care is a great charity; my wife was a member of the Llanelli Sing with Us choir and looks back on her time there with great fondness. So now we’ve chosen to raise money every
year for this charity, in honour of Sandra. As always, I’ll continue posting updates on social media. I want to encourage people to donate as much money as they can and take part in their own fundraising activities too. I’m not sure if Sandra will be able to join us on the next one, but I know she is very happy and proud we’re doing this.
To have your eldest sister receive a terminal diagnosis is a huge shock; I am the youngest of seven and sadly we lost one sister three years ago. So, when things like this happen, it puts a different slant on life. It makes you more grateful for what you have, and you tend to enjoy and make the most of each day much more, because you know life can be fragile and short.
This is why taking part in challenges like these is so important to me and my family. And to raise money for Tenovus Cancer Care to help other people going through the same things. We’re excited about our next challenge and hope to beat our fundraising target, because as a lover of outdoor pursuits, I know how important it is to keep pushing yourself!