Plungar woman will run London Marathon in memory of friend who died of cancer

Julia Grindell prepares for the London Marathon.

Julia Grindell prepares for the London Marathon.

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A woman from Plungar is running the London Marathon for a cause close to her heart.

Julia Grindell, 31, is running the marathon for the second time to raise money for the Lymphoma Association. Julia lost a close friend almost 10 years ago to the day of the marathon on April 21 to Lymphoma.

Julia, a journalist at the Financial Times, says: “My friend Jess Mackenzie died just a month before her 20th birthday in 2003 having battled with late-stage lymphatic cancer for just a few months. It was tragic to see your friend go through such a difficult period and suffer so much at a time when her whole life should have been ahead of her.

“It is a shame that running a marathon cannot bring Jess back, but I hope that it can help the Lymphoma Association to support other people suffering from lymphatic cancer. The charity provides an invaluable pillar of support for people such as Jess while holed up in a hospital full of very busy nurses.”

Julia adds: “My friends think I am crazy because this is my third marathon, but the second time I am running London. Training in the snow and ice has been tough, but I have my dogs Puffin and Kittiwake to keep me going by running alongside me with their boundless energy. It is a shame they cannot join me on the day!”

The Lymphoma Association offers free support and information for Lymphoma patients and their families and depends almost completely on voluntary donations. Lymphoma, which is broadly categorised as Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma, can occur at any age. However, it is now the most common cancer in people under 30 and the fifth most common cancer in the UK. The incidence of lymphoma is increasing year on year but it is not known why this is happening.

Julia hopes to raise over £2,500 for the Lymphoma Association. To sponsor her go to her fundraising page at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JuliaGrindell