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Mum who jogged to hospital for cancer treatment aims to run Belfast Marathon

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 22/04/2016

An inspirational cancer survivor has told how her determination to run the Belfast Marathon led to her jogging to hospital for radiotherapy sessions.

Emily Stanton, a mum from Ballyhackamore, started running after she was diagnosed with the disease last year.

She focused on turning a negative into a positive by jogging the eight miles between her home and Belfast City Hospital.

"Running to my treatment was just one way I fitted my training into a busy day," she said.

The busy mum, who has two boys, Liam (10) and Rhys (7), is finishing a PHD in peace studies but is determined to keep running. After receiving the diagnosis, she had surgery in June last year, before going through five months of chemotherapy, followed by radiotherapy, which ended in January.

After receiving much-needed support from Cancer Focus during the challenging time, she decided to run for the charity.

"I ran the Baltimore Marathon 10 years ago, and when I found out I had cancer I thought I'd set myself a personal goal to run the Belfast Marathon within a year to give me an incentive to get fit again and help me regain my confidence," Emily said.

"While my prognosis is good, I'm a realist - I'm aware that a recurrence is a possibility, but I take comfort knowing that I can use these services at any time, both now and in the future if I need them."

Emily, who is originally from the US and is married to Hedley, said she wanted to thank the charity for helping her.

"I also got tremendous support from Cancer Focus NI, so I'm thrilled to be able to raise funds and give something back to them," she added. "Their Family Support Service has given Hedley and I the courage to talk about cancer with the children, and they gave us practical and emotional support and guidance. I'm so appreciative of all the free help that they provide."

Emily, who has worked with organisations linked to conflict transformation, told how she wanted to help more charities.

"I hope to join the Sing for Life choir and their breast cancer support group," she said.

The busy mum also thanked loved ones and her "wonderful circle of friends" for giving her support and looking after her children when she was ill.

Those same friends plan to join her in the Belfast Marathon by taking part in the relay event.

"I'm a lucky lady to have such amazing people around me," Emily said. "I truly couldn't have done any of this without the support of my husband and friends."

If you would like to run the Belfast Marathon for Cancer Focus NI visit www.cancerfocusni.org

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