Lancing runner completes marathon to raise awareness of '˜truly devastating' disease
A keen Lancing runner has completed the London Marathon to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer, after her '˜incredibly lucky' husband was diagnosed in time to have his tumour removed.
Diana Rogers, a physio technician at Worthing and Southlands Hospital, was one of three members of the Lancing Eagles Running Club to take part on Sunday.
“I was terrified and nervous, but it was fantastic,” said the 39-year-old who, cheered on by husband Andrew at mile 23, completed the track in six hours and 23 minutes.
Diana, of Brighton Road, has raised almost £2,000 which will go towards Pancreatic Cancer UK and Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.
Andrew, who has Crohn’s disease, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February 2015 after a doctor noticed an abnormality during a routine blood test and suggested an MRI.
“He was extraordinarily fortunate,” she said.
“Another six months may have been too late. He had no symptoms at all – we would never have known there was something so sinister going on.”
The ‘truly devastating’ disease is so aggressive that the tumour grew to an almost inoperable size in just six weeks between diagnosis and surgery.
Now, Diana said: “Largely Andrew is doing well.
“His energy levels and strength are not the same as before.
“But he’s here and that’s the most important thing.”
While pancreatic cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death, it receives only one per cent of cancer research funding, she said.
Diana has asked for half of the funds raised to go towards support nurses.
“You have so many questions that the hospital can’t always answer, so the support line is invaluable,” she said.
Diana got the chance to run the marathon after being picked at random from 100 other Lancing Eagles members.
A runner with the club for ten years, she describes it as a ‘really supportive group which caters for all abilities’.
With the club’s encouragement, Diana completed 13 half-marathons overall in the run-up to Sunday’s event, which she ran alongside her close friend Joyce Blundell from Henfield, who has supported her through her husband’s illness.
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