When you are a fledgling charity, there are many 'buts, ifs and maybes' - particularly when the charity bears the family name and epitomises the struggle played out by your late wife as she succumbed to her final illness.
I must confess, there was some trepidation in the run up to today's Anna Verrico fun run and half marathon. Would we have support? Would Epworth remember and care? Would all of those friends who had promised to bake, video and run actually make good on their word? What would I do if three or four hardy souls were the sum total of the well wish brigade?
And sometimes, you just have to ask the universe. Ask, believe, receive has become a maxim over the last few months. So I did. And you all demonstrated that one woman's death need not be in vain. That people genuinely have an interest in trying to research cutting edge treatments that could make a difference in treatment options for those facing otherwise inconceivable diagnoses. And that the courage and determination of one little girl still has the ability to touch hearts.
I totally understand the clamour on people's pockets as every charity tries to exact maximum dollar from sponsorship. And I am utterly and totally grateful for your generosity today.
A few examples - some of my friends spent all of yesterday baking goods to sell on the cake stall. And they are goooood cooks!
Others gave physio massages - on provision of a donation.
A team of 11 other hardy souls took up a frankly ridiculous challenge and ran the distance in the blazing heat to make sure that Lucia could see through her mother's dream.
One totally crazy friend did this dressed as a comedy mascot rabbit and still found the strength to pick my little girl up with 400 metres to go and carry her most of that.
There were many tales of folk who felt totally underprepared for the distance but who persevered, demonstrating Anna's own spirit of Never EVER giving up. There may be blisters and aching legs tonight, but I wanted to say to all of those who ran in our colours today I am truly grateful and humbled by your support.
Next year, Alessandro tells me that he wants to be pushed round. That means two buggies and 24 runners...get ready for that challenge!
Thank you, friends. Thank you, Metres to Miles. Thank you, Epworth.