London Marathon 2016

Posted by Anne-Marie on February 1, 2016

Following on from our recent announcement of the Team GAH runners for the Virgin Money London Marathon 2016, here are their stories on why they have chosen to run and raise much needed funds for Get A-Head.

Alison Smith Birmingham Half 2

Alison Smith

Alison is a Speech & Language Therapist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.  Here’s why Alison has chosen to run the London Marathon and raise funds for Get A-Head.

“I thought it was about time I actually tried to tick something off my bucket list so here goes….London Marathon here I come! This is a huge challenge for me & those who know me know my history of exercise is sporadic at best!

I am really lucky to be running for a great cause which is close to my heart. My job as a speech and language therapist brings me into daily contact with patients with head & neck cancer every day. The Get A-Head charitable trust do wonderful work to contribute to research & improving quality of life for people living with a range of head & neck diseases. There is always more that can be done with funding so please please give generously! Thank you xx”

Chris Coulson

Chris Coulson

Chris is a Consultant ENT Surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham and some of you may remember Chris ran the London Marathon in 2015 for Get A-Head dressed as a nose.  He was attempting to set a new Guinness World Record for running dressed as a human organ.  Unfortunately Chris missed out on the record by only 6 minutes, so this year he is back to try and break a record again.  More details of the costume and record will be available soon, once it has been approved by Guinness.

Layth Yousif

Layth Yousif

Layth is a Journalist for The Comet Newspaper in Hitchin, Herts.  Here’s why Lath chose to run for Get A-Head

“Well, here goes: I’ve got three kids, I’m proud to be a journalist for the Comet newspaper – and – I’ll be running the 2016 London Marathon for the charity Get-A-Head in honour of my late sister-in-law Anne Aurousseau, who died of cancer aged 37 in October 2014.  Anne was diagnosed with having an exceptionally unique and incurable form of cancer, Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC), originating in her trachea.  ACC is an unusually rare cancer, with a very high likelihood of recurrence. There is currently no cure.  Despite all the gruelling radiotherapy, and various other battles – which Anne always met bravely and without a shred of bitterness for she was a truly courageous woman – my friend and sister-in-law died at the Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital on October 5, 2014.

Running the London marathon is about honouring the memory of Anne – beloved of so many people whose lives she touched in so many ways.  It’s also about raising as much money as possible for the brilliant charity Get-A-Head because fewer than 25 people per year in the UK develop the cancer that ultimately killed Anne – and we need to raise as much awareness as money for this terrible disease.  There is presently no funding for research undertaken in Britain by the large cancer charities to remedy the situation, or even a new drug therapy to manage the disease, but Get A-Head are helping to fund research at The Royal Marsden Hospital – which is why I want to do my best to play a very small part in changing this situation.”

We also have 2 runners who have been allocated places via the public ballot and are generously supporting Get A-Head

Emma Hughes

Emma says: “In June of 2015, my Aunty was diagnosed with an advanced Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC). This is a very rare form of Cancer that is predominantly found in the major and minor salivary glands of the head and neck.  It is known to be unpredictable in nature, with a typical growth pattern of being slow and gradual, but over time can be progressive, insidious and relentless. In the UK, only 20-25 cases are reported each year.  Symptoms are generally not identified fast enough.  The dentist saying it is a sinus problem and the doctor advising it is a dental problem is a common story but a costly oversight because of the lack of awareness all round.

The devastating effect it has had on our family has made me want to do something to help ensure that more research can be carried out to stop other families going through what we are going through, and that is why I am running the London Marathon; not only to raise awareness of this disease but to raise as much money as possible to contribute to the fundamental research needed to save and improve lives!  The Get A-Head charity have funding specifically allocated to Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma so please help me in my mission to raise awareness of this horrible disease and raise as much money as possible to go towards much needed research.”.

Harry Mason

“Hi, I’m Harry.  This year I will be running the London marathon in memory of my sister Anne Aurousseau who passed away at the age of 37 on the 5th of October 2014. This also enables me to raise money for The Get A-Head Charitable Trust who are one of the few charities conducting research into adenoid cystic carcinoma and overall to show my appreciation to Get A-Head for supporting my sister through her battle with cancer.”

We’d like to thank them all for running and if you want to sponsor any of them please follow the links to their fundraising pages.