Jake Coates (OH 1997-2004) runs across the Sahara dubbed the 'toughest footrace on earth'
Dear HCS friends, My name is Jacob Coates. I attended HCS from 1997-2004 and in my final year was head of Cornwall house, head boy and vice captain of rugby. Since leaving I have trained to be a doctor in critical care, worked in Bristol, the Mersey and in London before moving to Australia where I have worked in critical care for the last 2 years. I am currently working at Manly Hospital, Sydney, Australia.

This April I am running in an event dubbed the 'toughest footrace on earth' - the Marathon Des Sables. A 250km foot race across the Sahara desert over 6 days (more than 90km covered on day 5 alone) where I will have to carry all of my gear for the week on my back the whole way! Training has been tough - fitting in two to five hour runs before or after a full day's work. For the last 4 months I have been running up to 150kms a week in order to get myself into the right physical and mental condition for this race.

This will not only be a personal challenge realised but it is also a wonderful opportunity to raise money for a very important cause - Ovarian Cancer Research. The charity I am raising for is Ovarian Cancer Action - the UK's leading ovarian cancer charity.

I have chosen to raise money for this charity because my dearest Auntie Soozie was recently diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. She is currently fighting her own personal battle, undergoing chemotherapy as we speak. Soozie is not alone... More than 7000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK each year with more than 4500 dying annually. Survival rates for Ovarian Cancer in the UK are amongst the lowest in Europe.

There is no doubt that this will be one of the biggest physical and mental challenges of my life. The challenge facing me though is surmountable, the challenge facing many women with Ovarian cancer is not. Funds are undoubtedly required for on going research and improved diagnostic tools, but greater public awareness will lead to earlier diagnosis and better outcomes overall. Even though I am raising money for an UK based charity – many donations have come from friends, colleagues and patients from around the UK and Australia. Cancer has no borders and the main aim of my fundraising is to raise awareness of Ovarian Cancer all over.

Every dollar/pound donated will go directly to Ovarian Cancer Action (my flights and gear have all been self-funded). I have only 8 weeks to go so please visit my Ovarian Cancer Action just giving page https://www.justgiving.com/Jacob-Coates1

I look forward to hearing from you.

Please feel free to email me back at jakeycoates@gmail.com or call me on +61427178990.

Many thanks

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