To kickstart our '#ForThe34’, blog series we've asked none other than the wonderful Fran Ward to discuss all things 34 Day Challenge. We’re really excited about this one!

If you aren't familiar with @abutterflyeffect_ on Instagram and her truly inspiring content, you've definitely been out of the loop. Fran's fun 'Northern lass' attitude is truly a breath of fresh air on social media. Her content aims to uplift and support other young adults with cancer, creating a strong community that encourages her followers to have compassion for themselves and others. 

From Fran’s involvement in this year's 34 Day Challenge to why she values the Trekstock community so strongly, we caught up with Fran on all of it.

Why should people get involved with Trekstock's 34 Day Challenge? 

I recommend the challenge to anyone who has been struggling to get moving every day, and who is perhaps feeling like they're struggling with their mental health. I know it sounds like a cliche that's been said so many times, but there's never a time that you regret exercising. It's great for your body, for your mind, and for your soul. 

But also, this challenge is accessible to EVERYONE. You don't have to be a fitness fanatic to take part in this or to come up with some crazy complicated challenge for yourself. We're all at different fitness levels and abilities, and some of us aren't able to do it this time around due to medical situations and complications. Trekstock encourages you to do this challenge in whatever way feels best for YOU.

Knowing you can support other young adults with cancer, whilst having a goal to focus on that improves your physical and mental wellbeing is well worth the challenge I think. 

How did you find out about Trekstock and how have we helped you? 

I came across Trekstock a few years ago via Lauren Mahon at GIRLvsCANCER. My best friend personally knew Lauren and mentioned her breast cancer journey to me. Little did I know that a year or so later, I would need the help and support of Trekstock for myself as I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer aged 28. 

I signed up for a Welcome Pack during the time I spent at home recovering from major surgery, and after reading leaflets and having a nosy around on the website, I decided to book a place at one of the Meet and Move events in London. I was terrified as it was only a month or so after I'd finished active cancer treatment, but I was curious to meet other like-minded adults who were in a similar position to me. I really enjoyed the event and was brave enough to chat with a couple of people, as well as taking part in some of the activities on the day. I left feeling positive about the future and was able to start moving towards a life post-cancer. 

Since then, I've attended more events, and taken advantage of all of the amazing advice Trekstock puts out there. Knowing I was welcome in a safe and supportive space alongside other like-minded young adults made my recovery much easier to cope with. I can never thank Trekstock enough for all they've done for me!


What do you value about Trekstock and the 34 Day Challenge? 

I value the support and encouragement from Trekstock - there's this amazing community that's been built from love, generosity and kindness and I feel absolutely privileged to be at the centre of it, alongside some truly inspirational people. The challenge gives us a glimmer of hope and inspiration for the future, and it's here to pull us all out of a tough spot we've found ourselves in over the last year or so.


Why have you chosen to take on Trekstock's 34 Day Challenge for the 2nd year running? 

I remember how I felt when I finished the challenge last year. The sense of relief, of achievement, but also just feeling really proud of myself that I had put my mind to something good, and hoping that I'd inspired others that were doing the challenge. This third lockdown has been the hardest yet, and I feel as though I've moved backwards and lost some of the progress I had made with my fitness. I've had no motivation to workout from home as I was sick of rearranging my lounge every time I needed to do a YouTube class. I want to stand alongside other young people who may need a little push in the right direction, and who need some support along the way to get themselves moving again. Together we've got this!

You still have time to join Fran and Team Trekstock to help change the game for young adults living with and beyond cancer by clicking here.


Fran Ward (she/her)