Celia Jones, 27, is tackling the Hackney-Half in aid of the Royal Marsden, a specialist centre where her mother Anne is undergoing chemotherapy treatment for ovarian cancer.
Anne, 58, was rushed to hospital back in September with what she thought was just a vomiting bug; the reality was far worse.
“I retired as a teacher at Paddock School, Roehampton in July and spent my summer holiday scaling mountains and swimming in freshwater lakes in Switzerland,” Anne said.
“Outwardly, I looked healthy, but my alpine tan was disguising a terrible illness.
“I was rushed to Kingston Hospital in early September with a vomiting bug. Within a week, I received the life-shattering news that I had ovarian cancer. It wasn’t a bug: it was a 10cm tumour extending from my ovary into my stomach.”
Celia’s initial shock upon hearing the news soon turned into a desire to help her mother and others suffering with the condition in any way possible.
“When my mum was first diagnosed, I couldn’t stop researching ovarian cancer. I felt blind-sided by the whole thing – it came from seemingly nowhere,” she said.
“Ovarian cancer has the unfortunate nickname of the ‘silent killer’ and I am determined to raise awareness and talk about this insidious, deadly disease.
“It’s been a terrible time for my family and I signed up to the Hackney Half Marathon because I felt so helpless.
“I’ve been training in Richmond Park to raise money for the hospital treating my mum.
“The biggest motivation is knowing I’m helping to care for other people who suffer from ovarian cancer, from any cancer, and to know my mum will be there on the day to cheer me on.”
One in 50 women experience ovarian cancer in their lifetime, and often it is only diagnosed when it is advanced – at stages three or four. The most common symptoms are bloating, stomach pain, difficulty urinating and eating.
The Royal Marsden, based in Fulham and Sutton, is a world leading cancer centre, providing specialist treatment to patients of all ages.
Anne underwent surgery and is currently undergoing a course of chemotherapy at the Fulham branch, where she describes the care as “world-class.”
The Hackney-Half, on May 19, sees runners of all abilities tour the marshes and parks of the borough in their thousands.
To donate to Celia’s justgiving page visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/celiandphoebe