What I Know – Liz Smith

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  • I was born in Knutsford in Cheshire but have lived in Jersey for the past 22 years. I come from a family of six, with two brothers and one sister. My mum still lives in Cheshire, but sadly I have lost both my father and my sister to cancer, and one of my brothers died a few years ago from a heart attack while on holiday in Colorado.
  • It was my first time running the London Marathon this weekend, although I ran the Jersey Marathon in 2009 for Guide Dogs for the Blind after my brother passed away. I have tried to follow a training plan since November but have been faced with a foot injury along the way which has hampered the long-distance training. However, I’ve been to see physios and a consultant sports injury specialist who have both been absolutely fantastic.
  • My sister sadly lost her battle with cancer a couple of years ago and the support she received from Macmillan Cancer Support during her treatment was second to none. And they were the same with me following my own cancer diagnosis and throughout my surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In the early stages of my chemotherapy, I lost all of my hair and I was totally unprepared for how this would make me feel, but then I discovered that Macmillan offer a ‘talking heads’ session every month where wigs are available for you to try on and purchase. To be able to go out in public without a scarf or hat gave me such a boost mentally and enabled me to tackle the physical symptoms and side effects with more gusto. Macmillan also offer a huge range of complimentary therapies and there is always someone there if you just want to talk.
  • My body felt extremely battered and bruised at the end of my treatment so I decided to try a little bit of jogging to see if I could start the long road back to feeling fit and healthy. It was very hard in the beginning as I had no energy and my fitness levels were practically non-existent, but I knew in the long-run that it would start to make me feel stronger. My sister was one of the most determined people I have ever known and she never gave up her fight – it would have been her birthday on Sunday, the day of the London Marathon, so I will be thinking of her strength of character and resolve to help me on the day.
  • Running really helped with my recovery – it can take your mind off just about anything. My fitness levels are nowhere near where I was before I got ill and I still get incredibly tired, but feeling physically stronger has certainly had a very positive effect on my mental state of mind.
  • My favourite place to run in Jersey is along St Clement’s coast road from Gorey to town, and I also like running along the front and up the railway walk up to Corbière. We are blessed to live in such a beautiful island and the views are quite stunning.
  • I love South Africa so if I could run anywhere in the world it would be along Chapman’s Peak in Cape Town, which is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
  • I have brought up my three children living in Jersey and I think it is one of the safest and nicest places to raise a family. They all love the beach and I love the fact that we can put the dogs in the car and take them for a fantastic walk anywhere on the Island and then finish off with a cup of tea at one of the Island’s great cafés.
  • My parents have had the biggest influence on me, without a doubt. They were such down-to-earth people. My father had many jobs ranging from flight engineer to teacher and my mum was a school secretary. Looking back, I realise how exhausting it must have been for them raising four children but they always made the time for us.
  • My mum used to drum into us the importance of good manners and kindness. Hopefully I have passed this advice down to my own children.
  • Being with my family makes me happiest. And nothing makes me more angry than seeing people being unkind to others.
  • If I could introduce one new law to Jersey, it would be to change the law that runs between May and September regarding dogs on leads. I have two dogs, one of which is a Labrador who does indeed need to be on a lead when there are people having picnics or barbecues. However, I think there should be discussions on finding beaches during this period where dogs could be let off their leads, perhaps ones which aren’t popular with tourists.
  • If you would like to support Liz, please visit her page at macmillianjersey.com.
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