Happy New Year and thank you all for so many wonderful messages shared with us over the last couple of days. Your messages have strengthened us considerably and given us much vigour for the fight that lies ahead of us. Given us hope for the future.

As a birthday present Allie bought us a pair of tickets to see Handel’s Messiah in the Usher Hall Edinburgh performed by the Edinburgh Pro Musica Orchestra and the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union. It was a most magnificent feast for the ears but also for the soul. As they played and sang I soaked up the words of the Messiah which is, in a sense, an idiot’s guide to the scriptures and so was perfectly placed for me to listen to! I found much food in this performance today but as we returned home on the bus our thoughts turned to the next oncology clinic to take place on Wednesday and in which we will receive the results of my last scan taken just before Christmas. While I am convinced that I have been healed and am getting stronger nearly every day with the exception of the odd blip, each blip, like the difficult day I wrote about on the 30th December, brings one crashing back to earth with a bump and the realities of the challenge we continue to face. With my oncologist’s recent wise words, ‘Archie, you have a life limiting condition’ still ringing in our ears, Allie talked about the difficulties of the uncertainty. In a sense, and in a way that would have seemed absurd to me three years ago, life was almost easier to deal with when faced with a stark prognosis that was definite. The tumour couldn’t be shrunk, killed or cured, I should be thankful for the 40 years that I have had because there is little time left. It took some time to get my head around the certainty of what I was being told but after a while, and with the focus of the challenge giving me a reason to get that mattress off of my back each day, to grasp at life with both hands and enjoy what was left with the family and friends, while fighting for more time that I didn’t truly believe I would achieve, I did at least know that the buzzer would go soon. Very soon, and so, after a short time, I was mentally prepared for it.

Now however, we have a new uncertainty. Was I truly beating the beast? Was I being healed? How much time do we think we might have together? How do we make the most of each and every waking moment, of each and every day that we are lucky enough to be given? What if there isn’t much time left? I was trying hard to reassure Allie that I truly believed that I was healed and that, as long as I do what all have told me to do, which is to keep going and keep fighting the beast, that I will, one day be able to confirm that I really have beaten the beast. But right now I have to have a reason for being, a focus. I have two children to try and support, inspire and encourage as best I can into adult life. I have promised Allie that I would support her in her continuing studies for her PhD, and I have made a promise that I would do all that I can to help all the people that I can, in all the places that I can, in all the ways that I can, for as long as ever I can, so through teary eyes, as we travelled home on the bus, I read back through the words of the Messiah in the performance programme and in particular the Aria, ‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light. And they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them the light shined.’ We smiled but were not entirely at peace so on reaching Allie’s flat we read back through many of the messages sent over the last few days. For us, as I said at the start of the post, your wonderful messages of support over the last couple of days have done much to help us to see the light shining:

‘My personal belief is that only God decides (who is saved) not man, but may I say I thanked him (that) he decided to leave a good man because there aren’t enough xxv’Tommy, thank you for your delightful and humbling comment and I very much pray that to save me is what God has decided but there are so many other worthy people needing saved, many of whom are known personally to each of us, that I ask that we all pray that he saves them too.

‘Archie and Allie a truly blessed and exciting 2017 and beyond to you both.
This morning while reading my Bible I read Philippians 3:13 where Paul says ” Brethren I count myself not to have apprehended;but this one thing I do, FORGETTING those things which are BEHIND, and reaching forward to those things which are BEFORE”.

In the Greek the Word FORGETTING means seeing something as completely finished, done with or obsolete, purposely disregard.

The Word BEHIND means relegated to the back or to the past, abandoned or left behind.

BEFORE of course means ahead for us to embrace with truth and commitment. Reaching forth to something WHICH IS ALREADY THERE positioned by God Himself. Don’t miss it!

So Archie and Allie my prayer for you both is that the eyes of your understanding will be dramatically and profoundly opened to Jesus and to His Word in a way which will utterly transform your lives! Soooooooo exciting!

Ooooooodles of love.

Gilly xxx

Dear Gilly thank you and I reassure you that Allie and I are grabbing at life with both hands and do not intend to miss even a heartbeat. We are reaching forward and will one day, I am sure, find peace with much less uncertainty for the future but for the moment I have a beast to beat and some lives and life chances of so many more people to try and improve through the winning of this fight with the beast, and the telling of the story, and the raising of as much sponsorship as possible.

To all who read my posts and follow my journey. Do please pray for us if you can, but hold us and the challenge in your daily conversations, and do whatever you can to help me raise awareness, to find more people seeking hope but also to raise as much money as physically possible for the five wonderful charities I support.

In the meantime:

‘I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown”. And he replied.
“Go out into the darkness,
And put your hand into the hand of God,
That shall be to you better than a light and safer than a known way.
So I went forth
and finding the hand of God,
strode gladly into the night,
and He led me toward the hills
and the breaking of the dawn in the lone east.’

So we will:

“Go forth in to the world. Be of good courage; Render to no man evil for evil; Strengthen the faint hearted; Support the weak; Help the afflicted; Honour all men; Love and Serve the Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit”


“Do all the Good I can by all the Means I can, in all the Places I can, at all the times I can, to all the people I can , for as long as ever I can.”

— John Wesley

Yours aye


Thank you for joining me on my own personal journey and encouraging me to walk, cycle, climb, paddle, sport and do good deeds each day to ‘Beat the Beast’ while helping to improve the lives and life chances of so many more people through sponsorship. The Five Charities that I have selected to support are:

  1. Cancer Research UK – My Father Succumbed to Lung Cancer; a couple of friends are currently fighting cancer and I am fighting a brain tumour. Let’s Help to Beat Cancer Sooner.
  2. The Prince’s Trust – Inspiring and preparing disadvantaged Young Lives for success.
  3. British Red Cross – helping those in need around the UK and the world whoever and wherever they are.
  4. World Wide Fund for Nature – For a Living Planet and a Future Where People and Nature Thrive.
  5. Help for Heroes – Support for our Wounded and their Families. To learn more about my story that brought me to this point, how I plan to ‘Beat the Beast’, what activities I plan to do within the challenge and why, please see my welcome video on this page.

How to Sponsor Me

The Beat the Beast Challenge is self funding through my own contribution while keeping costs to a minimum with voluntary support and corporate sponsorship in kind. Therefore the entirety of every penny donated will go directly to the 5 charities listed above.

Please sponsor me by completing a standing order form either through your own personal internet banking or by completing a hard copy standing order form in your branch of your bank and then handing it in to the teller.

It is entirely up to you how much you would like to and are able to sponsor me for so do please give as much or as little as you can. Every penny will be very gratefully received.

While I hope you will encourage me to keep going by sponsoring me for every day I survive and am able to find the cognitive and physical capability to complete a day’s task designed to improve my chances of ‘Beating the Beast’ or improving the lives of others, 5 days a week, four weeks a month, for as long as ever I can. Any One off Cash contributions will be most gratefully received and distributed in exactly the same manner to the five charities as the sponsorship. Any one off donations can be made by BACS or cheque.

Thank you for having enough faith in me to sponsor me.

Yours aye