Press release posted 12 September 2023
Whilst recovering from cancer treatment, Kirsty Sheppard, a Student Communications and Events Coordinator at Manchester University, began looking at some online forums to find out more about fundraising. She spotted the Altrincham 10K event and how The Christie was the event's charity partner, so she encouraged her husband Jez to sign up, and he did!
Kirsty was diagnosed in May this year with anal cancer, a rare form of cancer, and had abdomino perineal excision of the rectum (APER) surgery at The Christie in July. Luckily the surgery has been successful and, despite a few setbacks like infections, Kirsty is recovering well.
Jez and Kirsty live in Salford with their 2 young sons Isaac and George. One of Kirsty's main goals after her recovery was to be well enough to take their oldest son, Isaac to school when he started in Year 1 at his primary school which, thankfully, she was able to do.
Jez had agreed that it was a great idea to train and take part in the Altrincham 10K and to raise funds for The Christie. Although used to keeping himself fit via football, cycling and weights, he was out of practice with running but soon got into the swing of things, just about managing to fit in training in between his work as a Practice Manager at a GP Practice in Salford and looking after his young sons!
He explains: "My hope is to build up to longer distances to raise more money for the charity which has contributed so much to the care of my wife. The work of all the staff at The Christie, and the specialist equipment in place, has helped her every day since her cancer diagnosis was confirmed. The life-changing surgery that Kirsty underwent was delivered with the greatest levels of care and attention both prior to and following the surgery."
Jez and Kirsty's fundraising target was £500 but already they've received more than £2,000.
"The great thing about all the money we've raised is that it shows how many people love and care for Kirsty," said Jez. "She is truly an incredible, special and selfless person and, as such, wants to make sure that we can do what we can to help others who find themselves in the same situation as her."
Jez Sheppard will be running the Altrincham 10K on Saturday 17 September to raise money for The Christie Charity.
The Christie Charity supports the development of cancer prevention, treatment, research and education through investment in staff, equipment, facilities and other support services.