Doncaster resident Sally Deakin is preparing to push herself to the limit next month (Sunday April 23) in her first ever London Marathon.
The 32-year-old has already raised £2,314 for blood cancer research charity Bloodwise, in memory of her sister-in-law, Johannah Deakin.
Johannah was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia early on in 2016 and sadly passed away on 7 December the same year, aged just 42 years old.
Sally said: “I remember her texting me to tell me the news and feeling like the wind had been knocked from my sails. It never crossed my mind for a single minute that she wouldn’t be here. I’m so grateful that we got to spend the time we did together as a family.”
Although this will be Sally’s first marathon, she is relishing the challenge and has been spurred on by Johannah’s experience, to raise money and awareness of blood cancer.
“I think of her all the time when I’m running, and mostly on my longer runs I hear her voice telling me to keep going, imagining her saying to me that I can eat more chocolate when I finish! It makes me smile and keeps me pushing through”, she continues.
Sally’s fundraising for Bloodwise continues to climb beyond her initial £2,000 target. The money will be invested in life-saving research into blood cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma, which collectively kill more people every year than breast or prostate cancer.
She adds: “I asked my brother, Dan, to choose a charity for my London Marathon challenge and he suggested Bloodwise. All of my family and friends have been really supportive of my training and I’m so pleased to have already smashed my target of £2,000. Johannah did so much for others and so it’s nice for me to be able to give something back in her memory.”
Bloodwise currently has over £6 million invested in 11 different projects in Yorkshire. Based at the University of Leeds, University of York and University of Sheffield, research is improving understanding, identifying causes and developing new treatments for all types of blood cancer. Leeds’ St James’s University Hospital is part of the Bloodwise Trials Acceleration Programme, a groundbreaking clinical trials network that is reducing the time it takes for blood cancer patients to get access to promising new treatments.
Matt Lawley, Head of Sport at Bloodwise, says: “Thanks to fundraisers like Sally, we can continue to fund world-class researchers who tirelessly work to find more effective, and less harsh, treatments for blood cancer patients. We are incredibly grateful to all those who have donated to support Sally, and wish her all the very best on Marathon day.”
To support Sally please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sally-Deakin1