Our supporters are at the heart of everything we do and we are inspired every day by their courage and committment to making a difference.
Pancreatic Cancer UK
Rhiannon chose to run the Virgin Money London Marathon on 2016 in support of her mum. Sadly her mum lost her battle with pancreatic cancer before the race and Rhiannon ran in her memory.
In September 2014 my mum, Jo was unexpectedly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after experiencing unexplained stomach pains. She was just 47. She was determined to beat the odds and couldn't have fought the disease harder. Throughout her fight, my mum never once complained and somehow managed to tackle everything with a smile on her face. I am so proud of her; she showed amazing determination and continues to be a true inspiration.
I choose to run the marathon in 2016 to support my mum however it was with huge sadness that I ultimately ran in her memory after her amazing battle ended two months before the marathon. Just 18 months after diagnosis.
It was sad not having my Mum there on the day to cheer me on. Sadly this was the case for a lot of runners in the Pancreatic Cancer UK team who were taking part in memory of their loved ones.
There are many reasons why you perhaps would choose not to run a marathon - you know it will hurt, it take lots of time and effort to train and to fundraise on top of your already busy schedule, you may even have doubts if you will be able to finish! But compared to those who are fighting or have fought pancreatic cancer this extra effort is very minimal, but the impact you can make is huge.
I'm am so proud to have been part of the Pancreatic Cancer UK team. The support from the charity was fantastic every step of the way. I raised £15,000 to support Pancreatic Cancer UK. This money will help raise awareness and fund much needed research into this cruel disease.
The Brain Tumour Charity
Firefighter Mark, underwent brain surgery in April 2015 while conscious to allow surgeons to remove 95% of an oligodendroglioma tumour.
I've always been quite a fitness freak, I come from a very sporty family with my dad was a boxing coach and my mum teaching netball. Joining the fire service was never a problem fitness-wise and there's an ongoing obligation to remain fit.
There was a risk after surgery that I might never run again. It was almost a double blow, with me being into fitness and being a firefighter. It was really scary thinking that running-wise, that could have been it for me.
When I first came out of hospital a day after surgery, fatigue was a major issue. I walked about 150 metres and I was absolutely shattered, so that's been a gradual and sometimes slow process to the point now where I don't really feel bad at all. Now, physical exertion doesn't really have an adverse effect.
I was running for fun really, three or four times a week after surgery because keeping healthy and fit is obviously going to help physically and mentally. Then I was accepted by The Charity to run the Virgin Money London Marathon.
I had to consult with my surgeon's team before I signed up for the Virgin Money London Marathon. I ran the New York marathon back in 2008, when I was fit and healthy but he said no problem at all to go for London.
The hardest part will be hitting the pain barrier and that's why determination and focused training is so important. I count down the miles while training and find it really helps and I think it will be easier in a way hitting the wall. When I ran New York, I was just running a marathon. Now, I have a reason. It'll be for The Charity and a cause that's close to my heart. Having a brain tumour has given me a focus and kept me busy. I'm totally determined now to remain fit and healthy and see my boys grow up.
British Liver Trust
Dad was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (primary liver cancer) in October 2013 at the age of 63. He had never smoked, did not drink alcohol and had not experienced any symptoms previously.
With parents that both had a medical background, I knew that the survival rates for any type of liver cancer were not good. A quick Google search revealed a 95% mortality rate within 2 years of diagnosis.
We were fortunate that the 18 months that followed allowed dad to get his affairs in order, say what needed to be said to family and connect with his faith in a way he had never done before. His dying wish was to complete the Hajj pilgrimage, a duty undertaken by Muslims at least once in their lifetime. As a family we were so grateful that he was able to complete this.
Dad passed away on 7 March 2015. I am so grateful to the British Liver Trust and have been raising funds for them in Dad's memory since 2015.