TWO brave friends will be taking on the run of a lifetime next month to raise money for a local cancer charity.
Marie Shawyer, 38 from Warsash, and Christina Harman, 37 from Gosport, will be running in the London Marathon on April 22 in support of Marie’s sister, Lynette, and Harbour Cancer Support in Gosport.
All three have battled cancer at some point in their life – with Lynette currently battling stage three breast cancer.
Marie says that they want to show that positivity and friendship are vital in defeating cancer.
She said: ‘Everybody has somebody they know who has been affected by cancer in some way.
‘We wanted to do something to give back to a cancer charity in the area that helps out local people, and the work of Harbour Cancer Support really resonated with us.
‘We have always been keen runners and have always planned to do the London Marathon, but could never get a spot with a charity.’
Christina said: ‘I found out I had cancer at what should have been one of the best times of my life.
‘I had just had a second son when I got the news about my diagnosis – but it was running that kept me going.
‘It is good for the soul and helps relieve a lot of the stress you are feeling when you are up against cancer.
‘We have known each other from when we were 15-years-old and working at the naval base and it is so weird how, at some stage, we have all had our own personal battles with cancer.’
Marie and Christina are hoping to raise £2,000 between them for Harbour Cancer Support.
Marie said: ‘We wanted to support a local charity because we felt that people would be able to see exactly where their money goes, which is really important.
‘The key thing is to not let cancer take over your life – and having services like Harbour Cancer Support alongside you in times like that is such an enormous help.
‘What really resonated with me was that they also support the children as well – so you can go in for a therapy session and the children can also receive support as well.
‘We have done literally everything together, from A-levels to marriage and having children. In a way, it is funny that we’ve ended up fighting cancer together too.’
To donate to Marie and Christina, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/marie-shawyer2.