I've blogged before about how the early death of one of my dearest friends from cancer gave me the motivation to start writing, to try to realise my dreams before it is too late.
Now I have another reason. Yesterday Lisa Ratcliffe, one of the Novel Racers, lost her exceptionally brave fight against cancer.
Unlike many of the group I had not had the opportunity to meet Lisa in person, something I regret very much. But I regularly followed her inspirational blog. I often lurked because, during a time of my own family crises, I just could not always find the right words to support her as she tackled her illness with such optimism, still finding time to enjoy life to the full. That is something I also regret, though Lisa knew my thoughts were with her.
In her final blog post, just a week ago, Lisa sent out a vital message: writers - write! It is one I intend to follow.
A JustGiving page, to raise money for Cancer Research UK in Lisa's name, has been set up here.