Our journey to the Three Peaks...

Last year Team Initiative tackled Snowdon. This year the team has grown and so has the challenge! On the 29th June, we fly to Glasgow to scale the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis. Standing at 1,345 metres above sea level we’ll begin our ascent at 5pm, racing to get down before nightfall. With a tight schedule, we’ll board our magic school bus (yes, really) and travel to the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike. Cumbria won’t know what’s hit them, as in the early hours of Friday morning another ‘hill’ bites the dust. And before 5pm that afternoon, it will all be over as we celebrate our victory at Vodka Revs Chester, where dreams are made, with the glorious Welsh valleys and the peak of Snowdon all but a distant memory. As appealing as Vodka Revs Chester might sound to all those reading this, there is of course a serious reason why we are tackling Three Peaks in 24 hours.

Scotty leading from the front for Team South on Sunday

Bloodwise, one of three charities we are fundraising for, has been a proud client of ours for two years. Having been at the forefront of Blood Cancer research since 1960, they not only have £90 million invested across ground breaking research projects at any one time, but have raised over £500 million pounds through the hard work of those fundraising on their behalf. Research topics for Bloodwise today include; stopping blood cancer before it starts, the prevention of early deaths and beating childhood leukaemia. In the 1960s, survival was measured in weeks and months. Today, two thirds of all patients diagnosed with blood cancer will still be with us in five years’ time. The treatment of children is one area where research funded by Bloodwise has resulted in incredible medical progress, with significant improvements in care and, as a consequence, life expectancy.

In the 1950s and 1960s, researchers began to combine different drugs to treat cancer, rather than traditional surgery or radiotherapy. In the 1970s doctors realised that children were more resilient than we thought resulting in survival rates increasing from 1 in 10 to 4 in 10. By the 1990s survival rates had risen even further to an impressive 80%. Although these intensive treatments have led to increases in survival rates, they have also resulted in some receiving harsher treatment than is entirely necessary. As a result, many patients experience greater physical and emotional side effects, complications in later life and – in some cases, death - because of their treatment rather than their disease.

Due to the tireless research Bloodwise have helped to fund, the classification and treatment of children according to their risk is now embedded in the NHS and has helped influence the treatment of patients worldwide. In the hope of improving the lives of patients, the latest research centres on insights from parents about the impacts that a diagnosis has on young patient’s quality of life. The harsh reality of Leukaemia treatment has prompted research to focus on finding ‘kinder’ drugs, which are less harsh and inflict fewer side effects on all patients.

The latest trial being run from Newcastle University by Dr Julie Irving is working on doing exactly that. This four year programme will cost around £300,000. A ten thousand pound contribution from the friends and family of OneSJS would make a considerable contribution to a cause that I’m sure we can all appreciate is worth our attention.

Our North London contingent treading through mile 12 on this weekend’s training walk

So…a 3,409mm vertical climb…. 23 trekking miles… 489 driving miles… 24-hours and a £10,000 target. If you can help, please visit our fundraising page. Stay tuned to this blog for more updates as we get closer to the challenge - we'll be talking about our training, our fundraising, and of course our two other wonderful charities. We're also charting our progress over on Instagram and Twitter