Lucy Shepherd

Lucy vs London Running for Research

Fundraising for The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)
raised of £5,000 target
Event: London Marathon 2024, on 21 April 2024
Welcome to #teamICR's JustGiving page!


In his memoir about running, Haruki Murakami writes "I have only a few reasons to keep on running, and a truckload of them to quit. All I can do is keep those few reasons nicely polished."

With this in mind I’d like to tell you a little about my reasons to keep on running, in the hope you may support me in running the 2024 London Marathon.

On 18th May 2023 my wonderful friend Nicola passed away, just months after being diagnosed with head and neck cancer.

Nicola had lived with severe Crohn’s disease for most of her life and underwent treatment aimed at giving her remission from the health troubles she faced. After bravely enduring this treatment and so many years of prior therapies, cruelly, Nicola developed an aggressive cancer. Nicola died just a few weeks after starting chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Working at the cancer centre Nic was treated at and watching everything she had to endure was truly heart-breaking. The amazing friend I’d met more than 20 years earlier at school, laughing and pulling faces with across the classroom, together celebrating life’s milestones and who so kindly supported me throughout my own cancer diagnosis, was suddenly gone. It’s hard to put into words how much Nicola is missed. Some of the things I can’t forget about Nicola are her positive outlook, her cheeky sense of humour, her creativity, talent and her love of life.

Just one year earlier my amazing friend Margarita, also died from cancer. Margarita and I met as inpatients at the Royal Free in May 2020 at the height of the pandemic, following complications from our life-saving cancer treatments. Through a pretty tough and prolonged stay with no visitors allowed, we became friends, bonding over late night episodes of ‘Naked Attraction’ and a mutual fascination with the amount of custard on the NHS menu.

Heartbreakingly, Margarita was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer shortly after discharge and underwent many lines of further treatment before making the difficult decision to return home to Lithuania, to be with family for her final months. I really miss the kind, creative and joyful person she was.

I will forever be in awe of the grace and dignity with which Nicola and Margarita endured everything their diseases threw at them. They were both immeasurably special people who taught me how to live. I wish I could tell them that. I hope to honour their lives and the profound effect they have had on mine by running this incredible race.

For those who know me as a fitness-lover, you might not be surprised I’ve decided to take on such a challenge. But there was a time during my own cancer treatment when I believed I couldn’t run again. My return to running after cardiac complications from my own drug treatment was a nervous one. In many ways exercise and fitness have saved my life and so it feels only right to push myself to my own personal limits for this cause.

Working in cancer research I’m surrounded by amazing work, but there is so much more to do. I’ve seen family members and friends struggle through their own diagnoses, experiencing the life-changing impact cancer has. Including my brilliant dad who lives with prostate cancer and my aunt and uncle who have also experienced its effects.

I’ve chosen to run for the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR). The ICR are world leaders in identifying cancer genes, discovering cancer drugs and developing cutting-edge radiotherapy. Their work has already made such a difference.

My wish is that one day, thanks to cancer research, everyone who is diagnosed with cancer will be as lucky as me, living well and for a long time.

It is this reason and the memory of my cherished friends, that I will keep nicely polished. On the dreaded long runs, in the pouring rain, the dark nights and the many times that I know I will want to give up.

Thank you for any support.

About the campaign

Welcome to #teamICR's JustGiving page!

About the charity

The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)

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RCN HMRC Registered
Our mission is to make the discoveries that defeat cancer. Our vision is that people can live their lives free of cancer as a life-threatening disease. We work on all cancer types incl. children's cancers, pancreatic, brain and lung cancer. Please support our work and help us defeat cancer.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £1,172.83 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations

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