Hi! I'm Claire, and I'm running the London Marathon as part of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research’s Leading Light Campaign.
I've got to be honest; my life has not been directly affected by blood cancers. I'd never thought about doing anything to help LLR – probably hadn't even heard of LLR - before last year. That changed the day before the Olympic Games, when I met Dom Goggins and the LLR team launching the Leading Light Campaign after Dom carried the Olympic Torch. I was instantly amazed by their commitment to raising awareness of the experiences of those living with blood cancers, the difficulties for LLR of fundraising in a tough economic climate and the personal challenge Dom had set for himself to honour the memory of his friend Steven, who sadly had died from leukaemia at the age of 19. Straight away I started to nag him for ways I could help and contribute to Leading Lights, ideas about how I could somehow play my part in his fundraising efforts. Encouraged by his steadfast persistence in using running to raise £17,000 for LLR in 2010/11 my chats with Dom first developed into mild nagging for ways I could get involved. This soon turned into constant pestering and with Dom unable to shut me up he soon suggested I look at the possibility of running the London Marathon as part of the LLR team.
What really made me think LLR was a charity worth raising money for was something that LLR’s Cathy Gilman said at the launch of Leading Light – that it is possible to cure blood cancers, and we're not that far away from doing it. How exciting is that? This is something that we can change, something we can make better, something we can do help improve people’s lives.
The point of the Leading Light Campaign is to encourage more and more people to get involved, by signing up for their own personal challenge, by donating money and by spreading the word about the work of LLR in ending blood cancers – all with the aim of reaching the incredible target of £1million donated before the next Olympics. It doesn't matter if your life has been directed affected by blood cancers or not, we all have our part to play, and I'm pleased to be helping to set that example.
The campaign is hovering just over £18,000 at the moment. The Leading Light team for London want to nudge that total over £21,000 by the end of the race. Whatever you can spare will help to save lives, and you can donate any time at https://www.justgiving.com/ClaireBuky-Webster
I feel hugely privileged to have been given the opportunity to raise money for LLR via the London Marathon, partly because my involvement is not born from personal experience or, as is so sadly the case for so many, tragedy. So I want to ensure that I honour my side of the bargain to Dom and to LLR.
My previous experience of running marathons has been an exercise of "just getting through it". This marathon will be my third and I’m setting myself a challenge. I completed my last marathon (The New Forest, October 2012) in 4hours 11minutes and this has led to me thinking about whether I can achieve a sub 4 hour time. I'm hoping that I can set up a deal with you lovely people who sponsor me - sponsor me a certain amount for finishing the marathon, then maybe a little bit more if I complete it in less than 4 hours!
Please donate to this great cause, and challenge me to reach this testing goal!
I'll let you know how the training's going, and thanks in advance for the support. Here’s that page again...