The one thing I can do is run and raise money for lifesaving cancer research

6th October 2022

Cancer has plagued Helen’s life, with family and friends losing their lives to the disease, and Helen, herself, being diagnosed with breast cancer. Her father ran five London Marathons in aid of charities close to his heart. But after losing his life to cancer, Helen decided she would follow in her father’s footsteps and take on the 26.2 mile challenge.

Marathon running and raising money for cancer research has always been part of my life. My father kicked it off, running five marathons between the age of 60 to 70 years old.

It was remarkable and so inspiring; I admired him so much. Sadly, Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February 2016, and he passed away just 10 days later.

My father wasn’t the only person close to me to sadly lose their life to cancer. In 2019, I then lost my friend Jackie to the disease. Then I received the worst news December 2020 - I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In a twist of cruel fate, just after being told I was cancer-free, my husband was diagnosed with bowel and liver cancer.

It felt like a domino effect, and like cancer was taking over our lives 

It certainly made me wake up and realise that life is really short. So I ran all throughout my cancer journey; it made me feel like I was taking back control of my body, and taking back control over cancer. I ran because my dad couldn’t and did my first London marathon less than a year after my diagnosis.

But, thanks to cancer research, not all cancer stories end badly

My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was just four years old – 50 years ago; thankfully, she’s 83 years old, fabulous, and still here with us today. And my experience with breast cancer – whilst frightening – was made easier thanks to kinder treatments, the huge amount of support and services available, and the knowledge and information we have around breast cancer.

There’s nothing I can do to stop my loved ones being affected by cancer, or reverse my husband’s ongoing experience and diagnosis, but one thing I can do is run and raise money for lifesaving cancer research. I don’t necessarily enjoy running – it’s hard work – but I’m in a position where thousands of people going through treatment would do anything to be able to run. I’m running for those who can’t.

I hope that one day no more families will have to go through the hurt that ours has

It’s such an awful pain when someone you love is diagnosed with cancer, and you can’t do anything to help it. That’s why I chose to support Worldwide Cancer Research. With over 200 different types of cancer out there, we need to find new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat all types of cancer. Even if we can’t find the cures immediately, but make cancer more survivable, kinder, and less brutal to experience for all involved.

By fundraising, running, and starting cures with Worldwide Cancer Research, I hope we’re closer to that day.

Our community of Curestarters, like Helen, fund pioneering research into new cancer cures. By becoming a Curestarter, you can help bring us one step closer to another cure and help end the suffering caused by cancer.

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