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My London Marathon: Alison’s story

Alison has lost many loved ones to cancer. That's why she decided to join the Worldwide Cancer Research London Marathon team and raise more money for research. With the marathon just around the corner, we caught up with Alison to hear about her preperation for Sunday's big race.

How did you feel when you found out you’d got your London Marathon place? 

I was walking my dog Archie in the community woodland near my village when Worldwide Cancer Research called to let me know I’d secured a place. It was very emotional for me. The reception was patchy, so our first attempt to connect broke up and I left a tearful phone message expressing my delight and how honoured I felt to be offered a place on the team.  When I found out I was one of a small number of people who’d been given one of the places, I was overwhelmed and even more determined to raise as much as I can to fund vital research.

To celebrate, I set up my JustGiving page that evening, posted my news on my Twitter and Facebook accounts, and by the following day I already had two generous pledges from amazing friends.

What made you choose Worldwide Cancer Research as the charity to run for?

I lost my beloved parents Ken and Ruth to cancer, my cousin Sarah lost her Dad, my Dad’s youngest brother Geoff too; we lost a lovely aunt Cynthia to the disease, and I have treasured friends who have either lost loved ones to the disease or are fighting cancer themselves. I’ve run for various cancer charities over the years. All work towards eradicating this dreadful disease or easing the suffering of those dealing with it. Cancer is without borders; it doesn’t respect race, gender, faith, or the measure of someone’s contribution to our world. It needs a global focus and worldwide collaboration to increase our chances of finding more treatments, and hopefully, cures. Statistically, one in two of us will get some form of the disease in our lifetimes. By harnessing the ground-breaking work amazing teams are doing all over the world we will surely speed up and strengthen collective progress towards our goal.

How's the fundraising going?

I’m excited and nervous in equal measure about taking on 26.2 miles, and about achieving my goal to raise £4000.00. I’ve run half marathons and lots of 10ks before, but have never challenged my mental discipline over a full marathon. My training has started, along with my fundraising. I tweet the work of Worldwide Cancer Research frequently, and I use my social media accounts as much as I can to keep my fundraising at the forefront of everyone’s conscience. I’m hoping to put fundraising tins in a couple of locations to gather important pennies because every donation, no matter what size, will count.

I plan to write a blog on my Potentia Coach website about my training: the ups, the downs, the progress, and the setbacks. I post ‘post-run’ pictures of Archie and me after training runs, and I’m  planning a few small scale social activities to encourage donations with little ‘incentive’ prizes to give away. I’d advise anyone fundraising to be wholeheartedly unapologetic in your pursuit of pledges. Fundraising is a constant in our communities now. There is always a team aiming to raise money for a good cause somewhere in my community. We are a charitable nation and a very giving world; we take our charity fundraising very seriously, and I’m hoping to connect with as many people as I can who can find a few pence or pounds to give towards my goal.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I read a piece on social media recently about loss and grief being our manifestation of continued love for those we’ve lost. I view fundraising and donating to charities in a similar light. I think we give so unconditionally, not because we fear we might ‘get the disease’, but because we are able to hold so much compassion for those experiencing one of the toughest challenges of their lives. I’m often in awe at how often we dig deep to support people at the most adverse times without expecting any acknowledgement of our gifts. I find that humility and kindness truly inspiring.

It’s the comments my family and friends have written that I will keep in my mind as I run around London in April 2017, especially when it starts to get tough. Any pain I may feel will be short-lived, and that’s a very small price to pay for the ability to help make a real difference.

You can support Alison and follow her progress by visiting her JustGiving page here. 

Feeling inspired? You can set yourself a challenge just like Alison. Sign up for one of our many other running events by clicking here

Communications Manager at Worldwide Cancer Research

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