London Marathon Runner for Maggie’s named top female fundraiser by JustGiving

Tuesday 25 April 2023

45-year-old Caroline Frith who ran the London Marathon for us on Sunday while living with stage 4 cancer has been named ‘Top Female Fundraiser’ by JustGiving.

Caroline Frith from London has amazingly raised over £22,000 for Maggie’s, which she credits with supporting her mental and emotional health at Maggie’s Barts, while she goes through cancer treatment.

Although she had run previously and used exercise to keep herself physically and mentally fit, Caroline had not run a marathon in over 12 years.

Last Sunday saw Caroline run the London marathon in less than three-and-a-half-hours,

Remarkably, she only started a 16-week marathon training programme with a coach on New Year’s Day this year and she set up her JustGiving page the same day with the aim of raising £3,000.

Caroline says she was astonished to see she had raised that amount in just 72 hours, and now, following the marathon, is ‘over the moon’ to see her current total of over £22,000 still climbing.

To her absolute dismay, Caroline’s cancer returned eight years later in February 2022 following a primary breast cancer diagnosis when she was aged just 36.

I ran the race for me

"I still find it difficult to wrap my head around the fact that I have stage 4 cancer or to believe that it has metastasised and become incurable. I really wasn’t sure how I would cope with training for a marathon on top of treatment.

My treatment means that like many people with side effects, I will wake up and my joints are stiff like an old lady but once I get going, I’m okay. 

I refuse to allow cancer to stop me from doing what I want to do and living my life with my husband, Ian, and my two children Matilda (14)  and Eric (11). I actually believe I cope a lot better through with the side effects of cancer treatment through training than I would be if I wasn’t exercising.

I’d entered the ballot for the London marathon many times before and had never been picked and I knew this year might be the last year I could do it.

I didn’t run the race for anyone else or to prove a point, I did it for me. 

But it was wonderful to see my friends and family – many of whom had travelled from afar to come to see me – lining the streets to cheer me on and to read the many, lovely messages and donations that people have made to see me complete the marathon.

The best bit about all of this is that I have been able to raise money for Maggie’s Barts to help other people with cancer like me. 

Maggie’s have been a real lifeline and looked after me and my family. They have helped me to cope mentally with such a devastating diagnosis.

They are wonderful welcoming spaces for people with cancer and their families to go before, during or after appointments, where there are kind, caring people you can talk to if you’re worried, or just to sit and have a cup of tea and not talk to anyone.

They provide practical help too with how to cope financially, claim benefits, apply for travel insurance, deal with issues at work, write a Will, provide information on nutrition and exercise – all of the things that can seem overwhelming on top of everything else."

Victoria Curran, Maggie’s Barts Centre Head, said: 

"It was incredible to see Caroline complete her goal of running the London Marathon and do what she loves. 

Her choosing to support Maggie's in this way helps to ensure that Maggie's can be there for people with cancer."

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