We’re Pod and Pig and we’re building a walking, running, chicken strutting, biking, baking, pub-crawling team that’s raising money to bring us closer to a cure for motor neurone disease and skin cancer.
Big love and many, many thanks for your support.
Pod and Pig xxxx
My Mum always used to say, ‘If you don’t work a muscle, it goes to waste’.
Turns out she was right. Bloody irritating that. I’m Clare Thomas aka Pod. You can blame my husband Huw for that nickname, he thinks I’ve got a head shaped like a pea. Weirdo.
Anyway it’s great to meet you. I’m 46 years old, love dancing; brilliantly according to Huw and singing; terribly according to Huw, our three kids and anyone else within earshot.
On January 6th 2016 I was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND).Read More
As nicknames go, I’ve heard more flattering ones. But given that my name is Pete Higgins, it was only a matter of time that one of my half-wit friends condensed P. Higgins into P. Hig and then Pig. That’s what friends are for eh? Thanks for that Jonny!
So I’m 47, and in September 2016 I was enjoying a few days holiday in Spain with Huw, Clare and our friends Jonny and Jo when I noticed an unusual mole on my stomach. So I thought I’d get it looked at when I got home. Of course, at the time I was working away on a power station in Scotland so didn’t get it looked at immediately. But when I did get the time the results were not good.
It was diagnosed as malignant melanoma on Dec 16th 2016.Read More
MND is a terminal illness that stops your brain being able to tell your muscles what to do. So your muscles pull their shoes off and put their feet up.
Which for me at the moment means that my hands don’t work. I also sound like I’ve had a few bevvies, even though I’m teetotal. Oh and eating anything other than soft food is dangerous as I might choke. So it’s a good job I’m a bit partial to lasagna and cake – though not simultaneously. MND is also blimmin’ exhausting, although that’s probably more to do with me not wanting to slow down despite what this disease is trying to do.
Other than that everything is good.
Although I’ve had to stop working, I can still drive and while I used to love running – four miles every day don’t you know – I’ve had to drop down a gear to walking.
So walking is what I do. Every day with our dog Dennis and any one of my fab friends, I go for a wander in the beautiful countryside near our house. I love the walk and my friends. But Dennis is a smelly pain in the bum!
Anyway enough about me. Pig is the nickname of my pal Pete who’s married to the equally gorgeous Jorgie.
I bought Pete a cock ring once. But that’s another story : )
Pete and Jorgie have been a real support to me and Huw since my diagnosis. And now Pete’s got cancer we’ve decided to get together and raise funds together. A problem shared and all that.
A massive thank you to everyone who’s supporting us. You’re all stars!
xRead Pig's story.
As you may or may not be aware, Malignant Melanoma is a particularly nasty form of skin cancer. Nasty because it’s aggressive and is good at spreading to other parts of the body when left to do its business.
It’s an insidious disease, it’s on the rise and can affect anybody. Currently the 5th most common cancer in the UK, yet most people don’t realise quite how serious it can be.
Take care of yourselves and your loved ones, be vigilant and don’t wait if you find any unusual or changing mole – don’t wait, get it looked at!!
So what happened to me next?
Well, once diagnosed I was referred to a plastic surgeon for a Wide Local Excision, which is the removal of a wider margin around the primary Melanoma site to make sure all the cheeky Melanoma cells are gone – job’s a good ‘un, cancer gone.
This surgery was supposed to take place 31st Jan, however there was a spanner in the works, I found a lump in my left groin on the 6th Jan. After another visit to the surgeon, a fine needle aspiration (FNA) and an urgent CT scan everything had changed – the cancer had spread to multiple lymph nodes and suddenly I’m a Stage IV Melanoma case, surgery no longer the best option – BOOM!
Sadly at the moment, there’s no cure for this condition, but the fab oncology team at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre will keep working hard to halt and hold the cancer where it is so that I can carry on living a normal life.
By trade I’m an Engineer and work for Siemens in Manchester. They’ve been very supportive, making it easy for me to take the time off I need for treatments and problems with side effects. All being well I’ll be back at work soon and can crack on more or less as normal.
When not babbling on about cancer, I’m a keen cyclist and, like my pal Pod, also love to walk. My other passions include music, dodgy DIY, the garden, wood stores, burning stuff, drinking beer, eating good food, peanuts, reading, binging on box-sets, watching movies and annoying my lovely missus Jorgie.
Now I want to raise some money to help the amazing people who are fighting these heinous diseases or helping those affected by them.
Myself and Jorgie were devastated when we heard about Clare’s diagnosis early last year. Clare’s an amazing woman and has achieved so much in her 46 years and, like all challenges in her life, she’s faced MND head on and given no quarter.
She’s a strong and inspiring individual and, despite her own problems, has been extremely supportive since finding out about my diagnosis. We feel incredibly lucky to have Huw and Clare as friends.
Thank you for reading mine and Pod’s stories. If you are up for it, get involved, spread the word, donate money, do crazy challenges or simply look after yourself and enjoy life.
Cheers Pig xRead Pod's story.
Pod & Pig, New Order Gig, 2016