A Cumbrian dental nurse was inspired to start a series of challenges after her mum was diagnosed with cancer.
Kian Palmer, a treatment co-ordinator and qualified dental nurse from Kendal, organised a team of 18 women – largely strangers – located across the UK, as they ran, walked and cycled 2,979 miles during March to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, smashing their original 2,750-mile target.
Determined not to rest on her laurels, she also started the #TeamCDWO (AKA ‘Team Challenge Daily Work Out’) on Instagram in April last year.
Kian was inspired to take action when she received the devastating news about her mum.
“I remember the call as if it was yesterday,” she said.
“You never believe that the big C will affect you or your family and then bam. It’s the most heartbreaking and devastating news I’ve ever received.
“The thought of losing one of the most important people in my life, my beautiful, amazing and funny mum, is one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with.
“I decided that I wanted to raise money for lung cancer research in the hope that one day other families will not have to go through this hurt and pain.”
Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK. Each year more than 43,500 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK, and the disease claims almost 35,200 lives.
“I’ve not always been a fan of exercising but during lockdown, I knew, as my weight started to increase, I needed to make some changes,” she continued.
“Being part of the health and weight loss community on Instagram I felt like I had to do something to help myself and others during the pandemic. I know that exercise is great for improving mood and can help people cope with these strange times, so I set up this challenge.
“Just helping people make small positive changes. I’ve found the love for exercise again and feel so much happier and healthier in myself. I love being able to run around with my boys. The challenges have kept everyone really motivated and given people a focus. It’s really taken off.” she added.
Hundreds of women, and a handful of men, have participated in the nine challenges to date, the latest series being ‘Healthy Mindset’, a reminder for people to look after their physical and mental wellbeing.
The challenges are all organised by Kian in her spare time, for no financial gain.