Fundraiser aims to raise £10k for Lancaster cancer unit

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A fundraiser is aiming to raise £10,000 for the Bay Hospitals Charity by running the Blackpool Marathon, while at the same time raising awareness of a rare cancer which claimed the life of a friend.

Kath Pinington is running the Blackpool Marathon on Sunday 22 April, in memory of close friend Janet Wilkes, who passed away in February, after being cared for in the Oncology Unit at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. Janet had a rare form of Thymus Gland Cancer.

Kathy, who met Janet through 20 years of working together in the equine industry, admits that the 26-mile run will be a challenge, as exercise is normally limited to a three-mile run with her dog, but she is keen to pay tribute to her close friend and also raise fund for the Oncology Unit.

She said: “I was only in America with Janet in October and she wasn’t diagnosed then. It has all been very quick; it was very sad and sudden.

“I could have probably run a half marathon but I wanted to make it more of a challenge for myself and also it is good therapy. Exercise is good therapy when you have a sudden loss, such as a sudden death of a good friend so it gave me some good focus. Fortunately, I got to talk to Janet only days before she passed away about the fact that I was going to do this, and she was hoping to be there. I don’t think we all knew how quickly she was going to pass away. We knew she was poorly but we hoped she had a bit longer.”

With the initial target of £6,000 close to being broken already, the target in the build-up to the run is now raised to £10,000, with the monies raised going towards the Oncology Unit at the RLI via the Bay Hospital Charity, at Janet’s request.

Sue Procter, Oncology and Haematology Unit Manager, RLI, said: “I’d like to pass on heartfelt thanks from the Oncology Team for such an amazing fundraising effort. We really appreciate such a fabulous donation, which will be utilised to improve patient comfort and experience when attending the unit.”

Paula Richardson, Head of Charity and Fundraising, Bay Hospitals Charity, said: “On behalf of the Bay Hospitals Charity team, I would like to say a massive thank you to Kathy for all of her efforts in raising funds for the Bay Hospitals Charity. The staff at the Oncology Unit at the RLI and the patients they care for will benefit greatly from the funds raised.

“I am sure I am joining everyone connected to the Trust when I wish Kathy good luck in completing her marathon challenge. I can only encourage more people to get involved and make a donation to help Kathy reach her target.”

To make a donation to Kathy Pinington’s fundraising efforts go to her Just Giving page here