24-year-old Lea Abell from Failsworth, Manchester is taking on the Great Manchester Run for the first time on Sunday 26 May 2024 to raise funds for The Christie Charity where she works.

Lea was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin lymphoma cancer at the age of 17 in March 2017, and was treated at The Christie hospital in the TYA (Teenage and Young Adult) unit with chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

She says: “The TYA, where do I start? They are absolutely amazing! Every single member of staff from Julie the receptionist to Hanna Simpson, the head nurse and all of the other doctors and nurses were incredible. They make you feel so at home, and they support you mentally and physically thorough treatment - they are all so positive, so you don't feel like you’re going there for cancer treatment. I really wouldn't have got through it if it wasn't for the people there, so I owe them everything!

"Hanna and Julie always went out of their way to check up on me and tried to make my days better in any way they could, and I'll never forget that.”

Thankfully, in September 2018, Lea was told her treatment was successful. She then decided, after the support and care from The Christie, that she wanted to be a part of it all herself, so she successfully applied to work for The Christie Charity’s mass participation events team.

“As part of my work, I attended the Great Manchester Run in 2023 and thought it was such a brilliant day that I decided I wanted to take part myself and raise funds for The Christie Charity where I work.”

A photo of former Christie patient and Christie Charity supporter Lea Abell in a Christie Charity t-shirt.

Lea has only recently started her running journey this year, so to take on the Great Manchester Run will be a big achievement for her, but she has plenty of people in her corner.

She says: “My immediate family includes my mum Nicola, my dad Gary, and my brother and sister Jake and Sophia who were all there for me during treatment, and they will be there on the day of the Great Manchester Run to cheer me on alongside my other family members and friends."

Lindsey Farthing, mass participation events development manager at The Christie Charity, commented: “Lea is a valuable member of our team and we’re all really touched that she has chosen to run the Manchester 10K for our charity. To have a member of staff in our team that has been treated at The Christie and wants to give something back to the organisation that saved her life is really special for us all. We couldn’t be prouder of her and we wish her all the very best.”

To support the work of The Christie Charity, please go to Donate today or ring 0161 446 3988.

The Christie Charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS is able to fund. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education, and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families.

Last updated: May 2024