My opinion by Mercury reader Mary Cowley: ‘Can’t’ is really just a state of mind...

NMAM 30-4-13 RKH 7 Mary Cowley
NMAM 30-4-13 RKH 7 Mary Cowley

If you’d told me eight months ago that I would not only be running my own business, but also be preparing to run the Great North Run, I would’ve laughed!

I’m mum to six wonderful children and have had five wonderful years looking after them and bringing them up. Last September I decided it was time to fulfil a lifelong ambition so I signed a lease on a shop and Mary’s Little Treasures opened in Matlock just one week later! It was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done - and one of the best!My confidence has grown with each new challenge. I feel pretty much invincible now with my new business and new found confidence which is maybe why I’ve had a moment of madness and signed up to do the Great North Run for Helen’s Trust! ‘Can’t’ is just a word – it’s a state of mind – the only thing stopping me is me... hopefully...and that baby weight that I haven’t quite got round to losing yet!

I chose to raise money for Helen’s Trust because I previously worked as a care assistant and home help for ten years. I think to die at home should be what most people should expect at the end of their life, but it rarely happens. Seeing couples who have been together for sixty years separated by illness at the end of their life is desparately sad.

I know of people who have been helped by Helen’s Trust at the end of their lives. They were quick, positive and responsive and relatives have the comfort of knowing they’ve done all they can to help at such an awful time. And it matters to me that Helen’s Trust are local so I know the money I raise will go to people with terminal illness who need help in Derbyshire.

So I’m asking for your support! It would be great if you would sponsor me but also support me as I train and eventually when I do the Great North Run in September. Watch this space and I’ll let you know how it’s going. Even better, why don’t YOU sign up and do something amazing today!