Running the Great Manchester Run for 10 years for The Christie to honour wife who died of cancer

A retired Manchester University professor from Wilmslow will take part in the Great Manchester Run this year for the tenth time in memory of his deceased wife Carolyn.

Geoff Levermore (71) is running for The Christie charity to help raise funds for Manchester’s much loved cancer centre. The Christie treated Geoff’s first wife Carolyn for ovarian cancer for over 4 years but sadly she passed away.

“We were both told she had cancer at an appointment in Macclesfield Hospital,” said Geoff. “Carolyn had a suspicion that it might be cancer and had kept detailed notes of her symptoms and developments, which helped her oncologist, but it totally devastated me.
“The cancer started in her late 50s. She was very brave and rarely complained. I attended every meeting and treatment with her. I was very impressed with the exceptional care and treatment she received at The Christie. The Christie is a top cancer centre and surprisingly it was a happy hospital although there were times of great sadness.
“Carolyn was a friendly, helpful, family person who had studied geography at Sheffield University. She was a part-time lecturer with the Open University and the Chair of Governors at a local high school. She was also secretary of the Norcliffe Unitarian Chapel. Carolyn had a good sense of humour, was a committed gardener and an enthusiastic artist. Above all, she was a great wife and mother.”

Geoff took up running in 2011. His children had completed the Great Manchester Run in 2010 and entered him in the run for 2011.

“I love running because it keeps me fit and I feel good at the end of a run,” he said. “I am lucky to be able to run along by the River Bollin and out to Quarry Bank Mill and Norcliffe Chapel.
“The Great Manchester Run is my local big run and close to The Christie. I do it with my son, Tom and nephew, Paul. I’m gladdened to see so many people running for deserving charities and the atmosphere is always very happy and uplifting. Getting over the finish line is the highlight and reaching my fundraising target this year will be very satisfying. The run is well organised.

“It’s also great to see The Christie supporters cheering us on about halfway round. The support of The Christie charity makes a huge difference, and the run is my way of giving something back to them.

“It’s both satisfying and fun to raise money for such a good cause. So many people are touched by cancer. In addition to losing Carolyn, I’ve also lost my own father and grandfather to the disease as well as my late mother-in-law and Carolyn’s brother. I would urge anyone who has been affected by cancer to help The Christie run cancer out of town at The Great Manchester Run.”

Geoff training has got him up to the 8km mark on his ‘long’ run. Previously he completed the 10km in the low 50 minutes but this time, older and with lockdown, he will be happy to finish in under an hour.

In addition to running, Geoff still does part-time academic work, researching the urban heat island in Manchester, climate change talks and academic examining. He plays bridge and tennis and occasionally takes services at Norcliffe Unitarian Chapel, Styal and other chapels.

Geoff remarried in 2019, to Margaret. He has 2 children - Alison (39) and Tom (36) - and 2 grandchildren.

Geoff has been asking relatives and friends to sponsor him and is donating his preaching fees.

To sign up for the Great Manchester Run with Team Christie, please visit our Great Manchester Run webpage or call the team on 0161 446 3988. If you have already got your race place and would like to join Team Christie, you can contact the team for a sponsorship pack.

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. 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.

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England. 

Last updated: July 2021