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Meet our Team Worldwide runners – it’s Nada El Sawy!

At Worldwide Cancer Research we fund pioneering cancer research all over the world. Because of this international element, we’re delighted to have supporters from all across the globe raising money for us. They, like us, know that a treatment or cure for cancer could be found by any scientist, anywhere in the world.

Nada El Sawy is Egyptian-American and currently lives in Dubai with her husband and three sons, aged 8, 10 and 13. She is one of the many runners taking part in this year’s London Marathon, in memory of her mother (below) who sadly passed away from lymphoma in June 2018.

“My mom was diagnosed in March and passed away in June so it was a real shock. I had already signed up to run the Boston Marathon in April and was really excited about it. My mom was due to watch me and the flights and hotel room had been booked. Unfortunately, after her diagnosis, she had to start chemotherapy immediately so I went to LA after the marathon to see her instead. We had hoped she would make a full recovery but she started to deteriorate after the fourth cycle. She was only 60 when she died.” she says.

“I searched for a while for the right charity to support when running the London Marathon this year to honour my mom and Worldwide Cancer Research is perfect. I like that it’s not limited to geography or a certain kind of cancer, it’s given me a more personal mission and I’d like to raise as much money as I can. I hope that one day no one has to suffer from cancer like my mom did and no one has to bear such a heavy loss.”

Nada, who is 39 and works as a financial journalist, is no stranger to running and marathons. “I’ve been running since high school,” she says. “I ran in track and then completed my first marathon in college. I’ve since run in seven marathons including Paris, Boston and Berlin. I’ve always wanted to do London and eventually I’d like to do New York, Tokyo and Chicago. I want to tick off all the major ones. I really wanted to take part in the London Marathon because it’s iconic and gives you a new perspective on the city.”

Living in Dubai, Nada has a more intense training regime as she has the heat to contend with. But she has a great support network who are cheering her on.

“I am a member of a running club called the Desert Road Runners and I have a good training partner. A lot of us are currently training for marathons so it’s great to have others to train with and we support each other.

“My family are also very supportive. I’ve been encouraging my three boys to participate in races, they don’t like it as much as I do but they like getting medals! Last week one of them ran a 5k while the other two ran a 3k. I was very proud seeing them stand up on the podium in their age categories.”

Nada has set herself a challenge of raising £5000 for Worldwide Cancer Research in this year’s London Marathon.

“My mom never got to see me run a marathon so this is dedicated to her, who I know will be watching from above.”

If you’ve been inspired by Nada’s story and would love to be part of Team Worldwide, check out our list of fantastic events suitable for everyone! And if you would like to donate in support of the incredible work Worldwide Cancer Research funds, please click here.

Dedicated son and runner completes London Marathon in memory of his dad

Completing a challenge with a loved one can be very rewarding and something that many people aspire to do with their parents or children. But for James Pool, his dream of running the London Marathon with his beloved dad, Michael, was never to be as he succumbed to Melanoma leaving James to complete the run for both of them.

James chose to raise money for Worldwide Cancer Research to help scientists find cures and treatments for the 200 types of cancer there are today.

"Me and my dad ran a half marathon together when I was a teenager and had always planned to run the London Marathon together," said James. "We had actually applied and been accepted in 2009 but a month into our training, dad was diagnosed with cancer. This year would have been his 60th birthday so it was the perfect time."

After three years of fighting the disease, Michael passed away with his family beside him. "I don't talk about my dad much, it was a real roller-coaster for him before he passed but it was important to me to run the marathon for both of us and raise some money," says James.

"Although dad died specifically of Melanoma, I wanted to help raise money for research for all types of cancer. My grandfather passed from leukemia and my Godmother is a breast cancer survivor. That's why I chose Worldwide Cancer research."

James managed to raise an incredible £7,123 for Worldwide Cancer Research despite completing the marathon in April on one of the hottest days of the year.

"I'm not a natural runner, just like my dad I am more of a rugby man so training was horrendous," says James.

"There were a lot of early starts and I was fighting off a lot of different injuries - just little niggles like bad ankles that put me out of training for a couple of weeks. I also had to lose a lot of muscle mass as I was bigger than the average runner. My aim was to complete the run in 3 hours and 45 mins and for the first 15 miles of the run I was bang on time. However, the day was so hot I really struggled. The dehydration made me want to sleep while running. I saw my mum and girlfriend in the crowd and they told me to keep going and try and keep a good time. I was proud of myself for not letting my competitive side get in the way and just finishing the race."

James, who is from Devon, currently lives in Nice with his girlfriend Marta. "Marta was a rock during the mouths of training," he says. "She always had a fry up waiting for me after my morning runs."

For James, completing this year's London Marathon was a huge achievement and he would love to raise more funds for Worldwide Cancer Research in the future.

"I'm pretty sure dad would be proud. I would love to run another marathon, but maybe in another 20 or so years with my own son or daughter."

Huge thanks to James for sharing his story and running those many miles for Team Worldwide! Click here to find out more about the many events you can take part in.