With less than two weeks to go before the marathon, I’m squeezing in training whenever I find a spare moment. I ‘enjoyed’ a long run through the town last weekend.
I’m pleased that my fundraising is also progressing well. I’d like to say an extra thank you to a very generous couple in my constituency who donated an amazing £50 to Cancer Research UK. I would also like to thank everyone who has sponsored me so far; such support is greatly appreciated and every pound really will make a difference to the fight against cancer. I know it’s not easy to find money to spare at the moment, but if you are able to donate, you can do so on my JustGiving page: http://www.justgiving.com/danjarvismp.
On 21st April I’ll be running 26.2 miles. To put this challenge into perspective, this is only slightly more than twice the distance from Barnsley to our nearest cancer research centre in Sheffield (which is a partnership between Cancer Research UK, Yorkshire Cancer Research, Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity and the University of Sheffield). Cancer Research UK spent more than £2 million last year in Sheffield on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research. A range of crucial research happens in Sheffield, namely research into bone oncology and cancer genetics.
A little further away, in Leeds, similarly invaluable research is being carried out. The Leeds Cancer Research UK Centre (where Cancer Research partners with Leeds University and the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust) is one of the largest hospital complexes in the UK, and its scientists were part of the pioneering discovery that aspirin can help prevent bowel cancer developing in people at high risk of getting the disease. Discoveries like this could mean that some of the 40,000 cases of bowel cancer diagnosed every year in the UK could be avoided altogether. I’m very pleased that these centres in Yorkshire are contributing so much to the development of earlier diagnoses and new treatments for cancer. It’s not difficult to see the progress being made, and how your money is helping research kill cancer.
In fact, by the time I’m crossing the finish line in April (fingers crossed)!, a new radiotherapy fund will be supporting radiotherapy centres, like those in Sheffield and Leeds, to deliver advanced forms of radiotherapy that target tumours more specifically. Radiotherapy cures cancer, is cost effective, and cutting edge. Cancer Research UK has been helping to make sure this money is given to the right centres, and they, along with a number of partners, successfully persuaded the Government to announce and increase the fund. Work like this means that thousands of patients will benefit from the expansion of these life saving treatments, which makes all my training worthwhile!