Local resident Susanna Stephenson has taken on the London Marathon on Sunday 23rd April following her recovery from cancer and to support others affected by the disease.
Susanna, 50, who has been treated for breast cancer, ran in the world famous event to raise vital funds for The Institute of Cancer Research, London (ICR) – the world-leading research institute and charity.
Susanna, who teaches French to primary school children, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, just three days before her 42nd birthday.
She said: “With no family history, and being fit and healthy, the cancer diagnosis came as a complete shock. I found a lump in my breast and went to my doctor who referred me quickly for a biopsy. I was lucky to catch it early and after surgery, radiotherapy and hormone treatment, I’m now cancer-free.”
Susanna was a keen runner before her diagnosis and after finishing her hormone treatment in 2019, decided to set herself a challenge.
So far Susanna has raised over £4,000 and the local community has helped by getting together for ‘Curry and quiz nights’ that Susanna has organised alongside support from her husband, Neil.
Susanna said: “Everybody knows someone affected by cancer and there are many different types. There’s so much research that needs to be done to try and improve the outcomes for anybody getting any type of cancer. The more money raised for the ICR to do research, the better.”
Susanna didn’t let the daunting 26.2-mile marathon faze her. She said: “Life is all about challenges. If I can get over cancer, then I can take on a challenge that I’ve chosen to do.” She was cheered on by Neil and their two children, Yasmin and Ethan.
Lannah Carbonilla, Head of Supporter Engagement at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: “We’re really grateful of the support of Susanna, and all of the #teamICR runners at this year’s TCS London Marathon. Getting out there and training for a marathon, while also attempting to hit a fundraising target, is no easy feat, and we’ve been so impressed by the dedication and commitment of our supporters.
“We hope Susanna and all our runners were spurred on by the knowledge that they’re helping to make a difference for people affected by cancer up and down the country. Every pound raised means that our research can keep moving forward, and every step taken towards that finish line brings our researchers one step closer to finishing cancer.”
To support Susanna, please donate on her fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/SusannaStephensonLondon2023
Susanna was thrilled to finish the 2023 London Marathon in 4 hours and 17 minutes.