Six weeks ago, whilst reading the Sunday Times, I responded to an article that has had quite an effect on my life.
I read about Jane Tomlinson, a mother of three in her thirties who at the age of 26 was diagnosed as having breast cancer.
She underwent a mastectomy only for the cancer to return 3 years ago. The cancer has returned to her lungs and bones and she was told by specialists that her condition was incurable and she had only months to live. It was at this time that she took up running in the hope that she might be able to fulfil a new ambition, to run the London Marathon. She began training in May 2001 and ran six days a week in preparation for the event in the following April.
Her training was being hampered by her illness. The tumour on her lung had become so large that it was making her breathless. She soldiered on and through great pain, clocking up the miles in preparation for the 26 mile run. In April last year Jane completed the marathon followed, in August by the London Triathlon and in November she ran the Great North Run!
She is the only terminally ill person to have completed each of these events and has maintained her training alongside sessions of chemotherapy which is extremely debilitating.
She was hoping to compete in this year's London Marathon but is not well enough to run. She is doing a tandem ride from John O'Groats to Land's End instead. Again, during this mammoth ride she will undergo sessions of chemotherapy. It was at this point, whilst reading the article, that I realised I had to support Jane and offered to run the London Marathon for her charities with Cancer Research the main recipient.
Jane's cancer has now spread to seven parts of her body. She lives with this pain and continues to be determined and enthusiastic despite this.
I am running for her, she will die soon; your support will be well received.