30 Sep 2022

Running the London Marathon on Grannie’s birthday

Laura is running in tribute to her beloved grandmother Doreen, who died in 2020. The marathon will take place on Doreen’s birthday.

Doreen, at 91, was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) in 2017. Prior to her diagnosis she had no symptoms. She had moved house and joined a new GP surgery which carried out a new patient health check. She believed herself to be fit and active for her age and the diagnosis came as a shock to her and her family.

“When my Grannie was diagnosed my family researched the condition to understand what she was going through and how we could help,” said Laura, who works with vulnerable adults with learning difficulties. “As part of the research, we came across Leukaemia UK. We have supported the charity in memory of my Grannie ever since, greatly valuing the amazing work it does in aiming for better treatments and care for those affected by leukaemia and other blood cancers.

“As a lifelong ambition I have always dreamed of being allocated a place in the London Marathon and am very grateful to Leukaemia UK for giving me this opportunity. The training has (fingers crossed) been going very well. Of course there have been some challenges, but I have tried to stay positive and overcome these with a smile on my face. I have valued advice from previous marathon runners, gradually increased the distance on my training runs and have taken part in the Big Half as a pre-marathon practice.

“Running in memory of Grannie has definitely motivated me throughout my training, forever trying to make her proud. It is really heart-warming that the London Marathon 2022 falls on my Grannie’s Birthday, Sunday 2nd October. She would have been 96, and I know she’ll be with me all the way.”

Doreen received various treatments, including chemotherapy and blood transfusions. Sadly she passed away two and a half years after she was diagnosed.

Laura is not only running to raise money for Leukaemia UK to research new and kinder treatments to stop the disease devastating families. She is also keen to raise awareness about the most common symptoms of leukaemia – fatigue, infections, bleeding and bruising.

“I would advise those who may be concerned about symptoms of leukaemia in themselves or someone they know to ‘get checked straight away, without hesitation or delay’. I feel this motto is something to live by and nothing should be deemed as a silly visit to the doctors. After all it is ‘better to be safe than sorry’.

“I was absolutely devastated when my Grannie was diagnosed and of course heartbroken when she passed away. She would always inspire me to follow my dreams, fulfil my life ambitions and never give up, which has definitely motivated me to take part in the London Marathon 2022 and raise funds and awareness for such an amazing cause.”

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