Amy explained how the loss of her grandmother, as well as the impact of cancer upon generations of female family members, motivated her to take on a marathon with a difference:
“In the photo you will see the wonderful women in my family: 3 sisters and their daughters. What you don’t see in this photo is the 2 bouts of triple negative breast cancer, 4 double mastectomies, 3 ovarian removals and a mum who lost her fight with ovarian cancer at 58.
“After my Auntie Katie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, she decided to take a genetic test to see if she carried the BRCA1 gene. Over the next 2 years we all started to get tested. 5 out of 6 of us in this photo are carrying the mutated BRCA1 gene, including myself.
“When I found out I had the gene, the prospect of the decisions I’d have to make in my future were quite shattering for me. But I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing, so that’s when I started running and where Macmillan come in.
“Over the last few years, the nurses at Macmillan have been incredible – they’ve helped my aunt through her fight and me with the information I need for my future. Knowing I have the gene means I will have to make life-changing decisions, but without the work of Macmillan we may not have had that chance.
“Running has been a real release for me and I was due to run the London Marathon back in 2020. However due to the pandemic, it was cancelled last August. But I wasn’t prepared to give up – I had worked so hard and this race was never purely about running for me. It was about an amazing charity that has done so much for my family. And for the brave women who have climbed mountains and my nan who lost her life too young.
“So, on 4th October 2020 I ran around London completing my own Marathon and finishing my 26.2 miles at my home in Clapham Junction.
“And my journey isn’t over. I’ll finally get to run the London Marathon in 2022 once again for Macmillan.”
Paul Lyons, Macmillan Relationship Fundraising Manager for London said:
“The COVID pandemic has had a devastating impact on Macmillan’s income, with thousands of crucial fundraising events cancelled. All at a time when people living with cancer need our support more than ever to help navigate through what continues to be an incredibly anxious period.
“The vital funds raised by inspirational individuals like Amy, will help us continue to do whatever it takes to be there for everyone living with cancer from day one of their diagnosis.”
Recent research published by Macmillan Cancer Support[ii] reveals that the Covid-19 pandemic has turned Londoners into ambitious adventurers; with more than 830,000[iii] people in London (12 per cent) planning to say ‘yes’ to taking part in an epic physical challenge, inspired by living through the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s a total of 6 million people across the UK[iv] (13 per cent).
Macmillan Cancer Support is the official charity partner of this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon. #TeamMacmillan runners will be taking on the marathon to raise vital funds to help the charity be there for everyone living with cancer from day one, following the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on cancer care and Macmillan’s income.
You can still donate to Amy’s fundraising page. Visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AmyStone5/1 for more details