London Marathon 2018: Stevenage runners set to take on challenge
- Credit: Supplied
Runners from Stevenage will take on the 26.2-mile course this weekend, all in aid of charity.
Fairlands Valley Spartans runner Jo Bowdery will run the London Marathon to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK. The 31-year-old from Stevenage has seen her father Roy battle the disease since his diagnoses four years ago.
“It was a bolt out of the blue when we received the shocking and devastating news of his pancreatic cancer diagnosis,” said Jo.
“We’re delighted to say that he’s defied the odds at every step of the way having undergone surgery and chemotherapy and we feel incredibly lucky to still have him around.
“Ever since then, we’ve been committed to raising money and awareness for the amazing work the charity does.”
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In the UK, pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of the 20 most common cancers, with just seven percent of people living for five years or more after diagnosis.
To support Jo, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JoanneBowdery
Callie Chapman, Kym Martin and Hazel Smith, all from Stevenage, are taking on the 26.2-mile challenge to raise money for Children with Cancer UK.
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The Fairlands Valley Spartans running club trio chose the charity as the son of fellow runner, Clare, had leukaemia but is thankfully in remission.
Kym is also running for Teresa, who lost her son Joe to acute myeloid leukaemia in June 2017 after a brave two-and-a-half-year fight.
Children with Cancer UK is making it its mission to improve survival rates through research, awareness and helping families during and after treatment, providing a voice and hope to children who are given the devastating news that they have cancer.
Callie, Kym and Hazel have already raised just shy of £13,000, an incredible amount of money.
To donate, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/InspiredMumsRaisingFunds.
Graham Southey from Stevenage is taking on the challenge to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation.
Graham’s wife, Mandy, tried to take her own life in June 2016 after being diagnosed with an “emotional and unstable personality disorder” and now he wants to give back to the foundation.
“Running is not something I’d choose to do for fun,” he said.
“But I want to give back to a charity that has allowed me to see my wife go from a person who was on the brink of death, to a woman who is now in work and enjoying the finer things in life again.
“I want to give back to the charity that has helped her, and her family, through some of the worst times anyone can go through.”
Graham has already raised £3,130 so far. To donate visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GrahamSouthey.
James Kilroy from Stevenage will be running this weekend in memory of his unborn son, Edward.
The 41-year-old had already decided he wanted to raise money for The Children’s Trust when he and his pregnant partner Silvia received some devastating news in February.
“When I started this journey I chose a children’s charity as being a parent, any children’s charity I feel is a good one,” said James, who runs for Stevenage club Fairlands Valley Spartans.
“Sadly, Silvia and I found out at a 12-week scan that our little one had brain, heart and spine abnormalities and would not survive full term.
“This completely turned our world upside down, from excitement one second to complete shock and sadness the next. I will be running with Edward always in my heart and mind.”
To donate to James’ cause visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JamesKilroy2.
Karen Broom will run on Sunday to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Despite previously running three marathons, this will be her first London Marathon.
She will not be alone though as her husband Trevor will be supporting her, with the couple both members of Macmillan’s Stevenage and North Herts fundraising group.
To raise money, Karen has sold the 26 miles she has to run for donations, with the names of loved ones who have either lost their lives or are living with cancer being written on her T-shirt.
Karen is taking part despite fracturing her pelvis last year. Having worked hard with the Fairlands Valley Spartans and personal trainer Craig Halsey, she is now fit and ready to “live her dream” of running London.
To donate, visit justgiving.com/karen-broom9.
Louisa Sandford, also a member of the Spartans in Stevenage, is running her first London Marathon – alongside her husband Jack – on to raise money for Antenatal Results and Choices.
Louisa chose ARC as it is the only national charity helping parents and healthcare professionals through antenatal screening.
She told the Comet: “I watched my husband run the marathon last year while I was 15 weeks pregnant with our son.
“We’d been through a lot with the pregnancy. At our 12-week scan we were told our baby may have an abnormality. This was a terrible time as we’d previously lost two babies before at 12 week scans.
“Our story had a happy ending but it’s not always the case for some parents. ARC helped us every step of the way and were our lifeline whenever we needed support.”
See uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LouisaSandford to donate.