Matthew McLauchlan – Getting active to say ‘Thank You NHS’

A boy wearing a Radiotherapy UK t-shirt

This month’s blog post has been written Matthew McLauchlan, the son of a medical physicist working in a radiotherapy department in London. Matthew wanted to fundraise for the NHS, having witnessed his mum, Ruth, continuing to work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Here Matthew shares his story for joining the #Miles4Radiotherapy fundraising campaign.

My mum is a medical physicist supporting radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients at a hospital in London. She has combined working in the hospital and at home all the way through the COVID-19 pandemic. It was good that she was able to carry on helping people and that I was allowed to carry on going to school some days, but it was a bit worrying knowing that she was still travelling into London. She used to change her clothes as soon as she got home just in case she brought the virus with her. Me and my brother joined in the clapping for the NHS every Thursday night with our neighbours and the head of Mum’s hospital sent us letters thanking us for supporting Mum and telling us that we too were part of the NHS.

I told Mum that I would like to raise some money for the NHS to say thank you for all they do for us. I love sport so thought about doing some running and then Mum found out about the Miles 4 Radiotherapy challenge and asked if I would like to take part. I said yes, so she contacted the organisers and even though the challenge had already started, they let me sign up. They sent me a t-shirt but as they only had adult sizes it is a bit too big for me. I like it though.

I have really enjoyed taking part in the challenge. I got a smart watch to track my steps and have been logging them since July. I wear my watch all the time except when I am batting in my club cricket matches and training as my coach says you shouldn’t wear one then. I have played some U11 matches for my club this season and that is against a proper hard ball so it could break my watch if it hit it. I run a lot and practice and play cricket in my spare time. Over the summer holidays I did football and cricket camps and tried some mini golf although I am not as good at that – Dad says I try to hit cricket shots, but I still have got some hole in ones! Now I’m back at school and COVID-19 restrictions have eased, so at lunchtime our head teacher has re-started his cricket games. We all love those and I’m able to play again with all my friends. I hope we don’t have to go back to bubbles.

So, I will carry on logging my miles until the challenge ends, but I am going to keep going with my smart watch. I’ve really enjoyed being able to raise money doing what I love to do anyway.

Thank you Matthew for continuing to log your miles and fundraise for Action Radiotherapy. We wish you luck for the final few weeks of the #Miles4Radiotherapy challenge.

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