Not content with one marathon, staff nurse Emma Widdowson is gearing up to run one a day for a whole week – seven marathons in seven days - from London to Manchester, to raise funds for The Christie.
Spurred on by a friend who is being treated at the specialist cancer centre in Manchester, and by the patients she nurses on its Oncology Assessment Unit, Emma, 29, says that although the challenge will be tough as she has never completed such a distance before, it’s nothing compared to the challenges faced by cancer patients every day.
Mum-of-two Emma, from Bowdon, Cheshire, will run the 182 miles dressed to represent a different cancer on different days. For example, one day she will wear a red dress and bright red lipstick for haematological cancer, another day purple for melanoma, and she will even run one marathon distance in her bra for breast cancer.
Her challenge begins on 17th September in London and Emma’s route will take her from Notting Hill, through St Albans, Rugby and Macclesfield, finishing at The Christie in Withington on 23rd September.
Emma said: “I don't really know what came over me. I was so inspired talking to my friend Mark Byrant, hearing about the challenges he has faced as an inpatient on the haematology ward. He has faced many hurdles and fought this battle so bravely, as have many of my amazing patients who I have grown so fond of.
“I haven’t done a huge amount of training although I have always loved running and have completed marathons before. It’s going to be more of a mental battle for me. But, and it may sound cheesy, this is nothing compared to the battles patients go through every day.
My plan is not to raise money for one specific cancer so I will be running to represent a different cancer each day. All money raised will go towards developing better patient treatment and care at The Christie.
Emma’s two daughters, Isabella, seven, and Amelie, four, are backing their mum’s superhuman challenge and asking school pals for their support. They will be there alongside Mark, from North Wales, on the finish line on September 23 to cheer her home.
Sporting events manager for The Christie charity, Lucy Naylor, said: “Tackling the immense physical challenge of completing seven marathons in seven days is simply inspirational. People like Emma not only take on such impressive fundraising feats themselves but also motivate others to get out there and raise vital funds for The Christie. We wish Emma the best of luck.”
You can support Emma by donating to her Just Giving page at justgiving.com/fundraising/Emma-Widdowson1
The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust through its fundraising activities, and delivers projects, equipment and improvements that are over and above what the NHS funds. The charity has over 43,000 supporters who helped raise £15.9m last year.