Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
I'm sure at some point during my last marathon I resolved never to run another one...yet here I am getting ready to run number two!
I was really lucky to gain a place in the 2015 Virgin London Marathon through the public ballot and I have chosen to raise funds for Action Against Heartburn, a group of charities promoting early diagnosis of oesophageal cancer.
If you're lucky, like me, you will have given your oesophagus very little thought, and happily take it, and the awesome job it does as the food tube linking your throat to your stomach, for granted. 14 years ago my Dad suffered a ruptured oesophagus in the middle of the night and was incredibly fortunate to survive. Since this time he has worked tirelessly to help raise awareness for Barrett's Oesophagus - a condition that affects some people who have had severe reflux of acid and heartburn for a long time - and its potential to lead to cancer of the gullet.
8,300 people are diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in the UK each year and it is the sixth most common cause of cancer death. Only 15% survive after 5 years, but if it is diagnosed at an early stage, the survival rate can be 90%.
70% of the UK's oesophageal cancer is adenocarcinoma that is associated with long term persistent heartburn and where the UK has the highest incidence in the world. This cancer has a precursor condition, Barrett's Oesophagus, one symptom of which is heartburn. If medical advice is sought at this early stage, it provides the opportunity to monitor and prevent the cancer developing in the first place with today's advances in medical knowledge and equipment.
Barrett's Oesophagus Campaign receive little recognition for their research into prevention and the work they do in raising awareness. Action Against Heartburn is great example of charities working together for an excellent cause and it will be a pleasure and a privilege to raise awareness and funds for them through running the London marathon. If you can spare any money to sponsor me, I would appreciate it hugely!