Widow to take on Great South Run in honour of husband who died two weeks after wedding

Sara and Paul Cranmer
Sara and Paul Cranmer
Promoted by Simplyhealth Great South Run

A WIDOW who lost her husband two weeks after their wedding is set to take part in the Great South Run tomorrow in his memory.

Sara Cranmer’s husband Paul died from pancreatic cancer last August.

Sara Cranmer from Southsea in Portsmouth, was left widowed age 39 after her husband Paul died from pancreatic cancer last August. She is now running the SIMPLYHEALTH GREAT SOUTH RUN Iin his memory''Paul is on the left, taking part in 2008.

Sara Cranmer from Southsea in Portsmouth, was left widowed age 39 after her husband Paul died from pancreatic cancer last August. She is now running the SIMPLYHEALTH GREAT SOUTH RUN Iin his memory''Paul is on the left, taking part in 2008.

The pair met in 2015 and had plans to buy a house and start a family together but while holidaying in Goa, India last year he suddenly became jaundiced.

Sara, 39, from Southsea, said: ‘He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Our world fell apart.

Read more: Here’s the full route for this year’s Great South Run

‘It was difficult for us both to comprehend and felt surreal at the time, like some terrible dream. How could this be happening to us?

Sara and Paul on their wedding day last August

Sara and Paul on their wedding day last August

‘He had no symptoms until the jaundice, he felt well and we did not think for a moment that the cancer had an opportunity to spread and become untreatable.’

Paul, 45, was a huge Portsmouth FC fan who enjoyed playing football every week.

His diagnosis shocked his family.

Read more: Full list of road closures for the Great South Run

Sara said: ‘It was such a shock because he was strong, fit and otherwise healthy man.’ 

Paul underwent a life-changing operation at Southampton General Hospital called The Whipple’s Procedure and his loved ones were confident that this would be a success.

However, two months into Paul’s recovery following the operation, they were then given the news that the cancer had spread and he was given between three and six months to live.

Sara, who is a student, said: ‘One of the hardest decisions to make was whether to go ahead with chemotherapy to shrink the secondary tumour on his liver or not.

‘Chemotherapy didn’t seem worth the pain to us, we realised that his life quality would be pretty poor feeling weak and poorly from this treatment that could potentially extend his life by only a few months.

‘So instead of being tied to hospital, we decided to live life for as long as possible.’

Paul and Sara wed in July last year and sadly just over two weeks later on August 8, Paul passed away.

Following the loss of her husband, Sara suffered with anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression but now she has decided she wants to take control and have a positive life focus, so she has signed up to run the 10 miles of the Simplyhealth Great South Run on Sunday, October 21 in her husband’s memory – a race that Paul also ran in 10 years ago.

She will also raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Sara said: ‘Paul’s illness happened so quickly and unexpectedly it’s taken a long time to process and comprehend.

‘I still find it hard to believe that he was here one minute and suddenly gone the next.

‘It’s been the most challenging and difficult period of my life so far, but I’ve realised that I need to take control, look after myself and have a positive life focus.

‘Paul would want me to make the most of every second of life as we know it can be cut short when you’re least expecting it.’

To donate visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=SaraCranmer&pageUrl=1