Our first ‘Unstoppable Fundraiser of the month’ for 2012 is a very inspiring story about one of our Marathon runners – Kate Thornton. It’s a very touching, emotional story and one that encapsulates why our research is so important and just why individuals like Kate won’t stop in helping us to beat blood cancers.
The following was written as Kate’s application to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research for a London Marathon place and sums up why this is so important to her. Please take a moment to read it, and anything you can sponsor her will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
"My husband Paul Thornton was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) on the 18th May 2009. He was transferred the next day to Barts Hospital in London where he had all of his treatment. Paul had 4 cycles of chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant in December 2009. He initially made good progress after the stem cell transplant but relapsed in February 2010 and sadly passed away on the 15th March 2010 (10 months from the initial diagnosis) aged just 36 (I was 34).
Paul and I met in 1996 when we were both studying at the University of Essex. We were together for 13 years, lived together for 12 years and were married for 5 years. He described our wedding day as "the best day in his life" and he truly was my best friend and soul mate. We didn't have children but had one cat that he doted on.
The last two years have been unbelievably tough but the thought that keeps me going is to make Paul proud of me. If someone went through as much treatment as Paul did to have a chance at living then I owe it to him not to give up or waste my life.
At the time of the 2012 marathon I will be 36 years old, the same age Paul was when he died, and so it seems fitting to run the London Marathon in honour and memory of Paul. No one in my family has run a marathon before and if I’m asking people for sponsorship I want it to be for a huge challenge which this will be. The last 2 years have shown me that I have a stubborn streak and determination that I never realised was as strong as it is. Goals like this are what give me the motivation and reason to get up and face the next day and help me rebuild my life. LLR was Paul's choice of charity for donations.
The following was written by Paul in his 11 year old nephew’s book just one week before he passed away:
I'm very glad that you have enjoyed your Harry Potter books. Don't stop reading books, they are the windows to the world.
Thank you for being the best nephew I could have wished for, I have always enjoyed seeing you and playing with you, I promise to keep an eye out for you wherever I go.
Live your life to the full, take the opportunities that come your way, and have no regrets in life.
All my love, Uncle Paul. xxxx
This advice is now my mantra for life."
Please take a moment to read Kate’s fundraising page