Going the Distance to say Thank You to Teens Unite

10 January 2019
  • Challenges

Going the Distance to say Thank You to Teens Unite

Taking on an overseas challenge is such a rewarding journey - from the moment you sign up to the moment you cross that finish line, we are here to cheer you on and support you every step of the way. Mikhaila, a young person supported by Teens Unite, took on our 2017 Vietnam to Cambodia cycle. She's been reminiscing on the incredible memories made throughout the challenge with her now best friend, Eilish:

"A few factors motivated me to sign up for the challenge- a significant one was a way of saying 'thank you' to Teens Unite for everything they'd done for me and others- the more you do with Teens Unite, the more of an insight you gain into the effort and time that's put into organising the events and activities for us Teens.

I feel really strongly about raising awareness for the charity, and I know how vital donations are to what they do, so I really wanted to help contribute to that effort in some way and get involved. I also wanted to challenge myself and take advantage of the fact I was healthy and in remission and wanted to see what I was physically and mentally capable of. Cancer tests your resilience to limits you didn't even know you had, so this was a way of doing that on my terms. Also, I've never been very sporty or active, so I knew this would be the perfect way to really push myself towards something I'd have never dreamed of doing pre-diagnosis.

The challenge was exactly that- a challenge. I personally found it really physically and mentally tough, but also immensely fun and rewarding. The sense of accomplishment once we'd completed the cycle was incredible. To this day I still can't believe that I actually did it. It makes it so much more rewarding knowing that it was all for an amazing cause, one that I myself am a part of.

Fundraising for the challenge also often proved difficult- it takes a lot of time and patience to get the word out there and encourage others to donate. Knowing that so many wonderful people had donated, and had followed my cancer journey as well as my training leading up to the challenge meant that it wasn't just for me, I was doing it for all the other Teens like me and all the people who believed in the cause enough to donate towards my cycle! Teens Unite were amazing throughout the process, from signing up, to the fundraising, right through to the actual challenge itself.

Being a Teen taking part in a challenge gave me a different perspective- I wrote some blog posts for the charity, alongside another Teen, Eilish, who was also doing the cycle (and who is now one of my best friends!). We wrote about what led us to take on the challenge, what Teens Unite means to us, how our training was going, things like that.

Teens Unite supported us both immensely with sharing our fundraising pages on social media, posting what we'd said in the blog posts, and they even created a 'donate your old pound coins' campaign especially for us, to encourage more donations. It was so encouraging and made the lead up to the trip itself really exciting!

To anyone considering taking on a challenge for Teens Unite- what are you waiting for? Sign up! It was one of the most rewarding, exciting, and challenging experiences of my life, and I will definitely be signing up for another. You can help so many young people who have/have had cancer rebuild their lives, by doing something that's life-affirming, life-changing and genuinely fun.

It's rewarding on so many different levels and for so many people, including yourself. Anyone can take on the challenges- ours had people of all different ages and sizes, supporting one another throughout and lifting one another up when it got tough. Despite the difficult times, you only remember the amazing moments... and there will be so many to choose from! If a Teen who beat cancer can do it... so can you! I can personally guarantee that you will not regret it!"

To register your interest for a place on our 2019 Overseas Challenge, the Taj Mahal Cycle, please click here.

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