A Nike employee from North Shields is preparing to dust off her trainers and complete this year’s Virgin London Marathon for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, a charity close to her heart. Sophie Hughes is taking on the 26-mile course on 25 April to ensure more lymphoma patients, like her mother, continue to benefit from the charity’s world-class research into the disease.
Carolyn Hughes was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2001, and responded well to courses of chemo and radiotherapy. However, these treatments proved ineffective when the blood cancer returned three years later, forcing doctors at Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow to perform a stem cell transplant.
After several attempts, the complex procedure was successful, and Carolyn has been in remission ever since: “It felt like a miracle,” says Sophie, 28, “when the treatment didn’t work the first time we feared the worst but the doctors kept trying anyway. Mum’s fight has brought us closer as a family”.
As well as support from her brother and sister, who are rallying round to help raise sponsorship from friends and family, Sophie has received the backing of colleagues at Nike UK in Sunderland. The sportswear company has agreed to contribute up to £1000 towards her fundraising total under its matched giving scheme.
Sophie is no running novice, having been a member of the North Shields Polly Running Club since her time at university. She is determined to help the charity get closer to a cure: “Lymphoma is really difficult to treat because there are so many types of the disease. I want to raise as much money as possible for research into new treatments, because without procedures like the one my mum had, she wouldn’t be here today”.
Sophie will be running as a member of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research’s ‘Banana Army’ running team sponsored by TVTimes and Adidas. Celebrities including Emmerdale’s Tony Audenshaw and Vicky Binns regularly run with the Banana Army and will be turning out for the Virgin London Marathon to help raise funds for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
You can support Sophie by visiting her fundraising website: www.justgiving.com/Sophie-Hughes