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Drugs have allowed my sister to live with secondary for seven years – but more research is needed

Johnny is doing the £1,000 challenge with the aim of raising money for people like his sister, Geraldine. This is his message for anyone else who wants to get involved.

Johnny is doing the £1,000 challenge with the aim of raising money for people like his sister, Geraldine. This is his message for anyone else who wants to get involved. 

It is so important to keep researching more drugs 

I’m taking on the £1,000 challenge for my sister, Geraldine, who was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in 2013. 

Focusing on secondary breast cancer is really important to me, because I know from Geraldine's experience that the drugs are so important in enabling her to live well and enjoy time with her family over the last seven years. But the drugs don't all work for everybody. 

It's so important that the scientists keep on doing the research to develop drugs that are going to help people to live for longer, and ultimately stop secondary breast cancer from killing people in their thousands as it does currently. 

It’s still possible to fundraise in lockdown 

In the past, I've nominated Geraldine for the £1,000 challenge wall at the research centre and, apart from being very emotional when it was unveiled, it also made me feel an awful lot closer to her to be raising money for this cause. It made me feel like I was helping her in some way, and it was nice to be able to do something for her. 

Obviously, covid and lockdown has been quite challenging in many ways, and it's made fundraising quite difficult. But there are still all sorts of things that you can do. 

Despite lockdown, you can still get out for exercise and walking the dog, perhaps, or even walking up and down your garden. You can also complete some of the virtual challenges that are out there on the internet. 

I’m doing a virtual walking challenge  

I love walking and getting outdoors and I've done loads of long-distance tracks in the past, so for my £1,000 challenge I've entered into the virtual Land's End to John O Groats walk, which is 874 miles. It takes place over the whole of 2021, so I’ve got a whole year to complete it. I'm hoping to do it sooner, but all my walks out in during the year will count towards that total. 

We took on a little rescue dog called Sully from Spain back at the end of November, and he's been doing all of the walks with me so far. Poor little lad doesn’t know what’s hit him! But of the 250 miles or so I've completed in the first month, he's done every step with me.  

It’s so nice to get out and he really gives me an incentive to do that – even in the winter. 

Anyone and everyone can get involved 

To anyone thinking about taking up the £1,000 challenge, I'd say do it, because there's no time limit. It seems a bit daunting when you have to raise that amount of money, but there's no time limit on it. You can do it whenever you want. 

And there's a number of ways in which you can do it, whether it's through online quiz nights, sports, or other virtual challenges. You can get people to sponsor you, you can still get out and exercise, and getting out in the great outdoors is also great for your mental health. 

Being a part of Team Now is brilliant as well because, as well as the support you get from the charity, there are loads of other supporters out there encouraging you through social media. We’re all part of a team with the same cause in mind, no matter whether you’re running, walking, or even baking cakes. 


If you'd like to follow in Johnny's footsteps and take part in the £1,000 challenge, check out how you can get involved through our information page.

£1,000 challenge


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