Friday 28 Jan 2022
Maggie's Barts – London
On the day my husband Andy died, my name was drawn to run the London Marathon for Maggie’s Barts. It was a centre that had supported us both during his treatment, and also welcomed his Mum, Dad and sister.
Running played a big part in Andy’s life. We both did parkrun each week, and made many dear friends through it.
The London Marathon day was always one of the happiest in his calendar.
He had run it twice and supported and encouraged me to run it twice. He also organised teams of volunteers for the marathon organisers.
In 2019 when he had recently completed some treatment, he waved me off at the start at Greenwich, and met me at the end on the Mall.
His treatment for testicular cancer was difficult particularly latterly during the pandemic.
In 2020 he had several periods in hospital and was then admitted for a stem cell transplant.
He was isolated on the ward for 6 weeks.
When he started his treatment, he asked me to carry on running whilst he was in hospital and beyond. Because of this, I feel that he somehow had a hand in me being picked to run the marathon in 2021.
I committed to my promise to him, and in the dark days since he died, I have carried on with this in mind.
He was the bravest and kindest man and he was my world. I am so proud to have been his wife.
We created a tribute page which has so many donations and thoughts about Andy / Andrew/ ‘The Andinator’ / AOC / or ‘Coach’ – as he was known.
People wrote saying how they much treasured his friendship, how kind he was. He was one of life’s lovely people – generous, patient, funny.
Maggie’s was initially just a tranquil space where we could wait for appointments and have a cup of tea.
The architecturally beautiful building appealed to Andy's love of design.
At the start, we didn’t think we would need support beyond our friends and family. Over time though it became a huge help to us both.
We walked in and the team knew our story and offered us wonderful understanding and an outlet.
It was a space that I could work whilst waiting for him thus keeping the wheels turning at home. We met other people going through similar journeys.
People run marathons for many reasons. For some it is on their bucket list. For others it is personal achievement and health. For many, it is both this and the desire to run for someone or something personal.
My first marathon was a bucket list, my second marathon was a desire to do better.
The marathon in 2021 was the deeply personal one. It was in personal and emotional tribute to my wonderful husband, who was also a wonderful son, brother, uncle, nephew and friend. It was also a thank you to Maggie’s.
I was supported by so many who loved Andy along the route.
Cancer is also a marathon. And Maggie’s supported us all the way.
If you or someone you love has cancer, Maggie's is with you.
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