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John Friend

35,000 Doing The Impossible

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]This may come as a shock to many of you and for two reasons: the first being that if you ever met my mother, I can guarantee that she will have touched your life; the second being, prior to reading this, you probably didn't think I had feelings...[/p][p]On the 18th August 2016 my mother was diagnosed with stage IV (metastatic) breast cancer, which spread initially to the bone, then her liver, and now her brain. For those of you that don't know - I certainly didn't twenty-six months ago when I asked my mum to close her ears while I asked the doctor how long she had left before she went to a better place - metastatic breast cancer is when breast cancer cells spread to other parts of the body, most commonly the bones, brain, lungs, or liver and while treatable, it currently cannot be cured. [/p][p]While breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK with 54,900 new cases being diagnosed every year, thats 150 each day, or 1 person being diagnosed every 10 minutes, my mum is one of what is thought to be 35,000 people in the UK living with incurable breast cancer. [/p][p]In April I will be running the 2019 Virgin London Marathon in the name of the 35,000 who do the impossible day in and day out. Those close to me will know that I quite like a challenge, particularly when it is 'phys' related. They will also know that I have an endless optimism which is typically backed up by the quote, 'You are never out of the fight!' Despite my mum hating me calling her a 'warrior', she is a living testament of this mentality having overcome all odds, being told when she was first diagnosed that she had one year left, then again in January with three months, and most recently in September when it was thought just three weeks. With my mother and the other 34,999 in mind, who do the impossible every day, I have set myself an impossible target - welcome to the mindset my family has to put up with. The target to achieve, or rather not to achieve (bear with me) is a sub 02:50:00 marathon. [/p][p]I initially came up with the idea of running a 2h49m marathon in May, eleven months before the next London Marathon, while I was bedside watching mum undergo a six-hour blood transfusion (exactly my thought - I could definitely do with one of those, but for some reason the doctors aren't so onboard). This idea, however, was quickly put to bed, with my mother being ‘absolutely horrified’ at the thought of being in the limelight. In October, with treatment options near to exhaustion and time running out, mum had a change of heart upon the realisation of how little success metastatic cancer research was having, and so she gave me her full support on the basis of one condition: that the enitrety of the funds we raise will go towards metastatic breast cancer research, so that others don't have to endure what she has had too! And that's my mum for you: the kindest, the bravest, and the most loving person I know. [/p][p]While my brother was perhaps right when he said at the very beginning of all of this, 'you know John, you can't just do marathons and run away from this', I am going to run towards it on behalf of my mother, because I promise you she would if she could (now you know where I get it from), for the 35,000 who get told there is no hope and I am going to replicate just a fraction of the battle they face each day, whereby the clock is set against you from the outset. So while I am healthy 24 year old (despite having hips of a 65 year old) physically capable of achieving a sub 2h50 marathon at some point in my lifetime, I am not with just five months of training. Those closest to me will know just how difficult that would have been for me to admit. They will also know, that I will still do everything in my power from this day onwards until I cross the finish line to achieve that goal. [/p][p]This brings me to the purpose of this message. I am asking for your help to raise £35,000, of which 100% will go towards a new metastatic breast cancer research project that Action Against Cancer are funding at the Imperial Centre for Translational and Experimental Medicine. This brand-new research, which is being carried out by Professor Justin Stebbing and three other brilliant scientists, seeks to develop a revolutionary technique that will enable doctors to predict whether a tumour will spread, if so where to, and most importantly what the best combination of drugs will be to prevent or to reduce relapse. This new technique will be combined with the development a novel tool that will mimic the mutation of individual patient's tumours, to allow analysis of the response to drugs and inform treatment adjustment on a personalised level. At present it is hard to predict where this aggressive disease will reappear in the body as a secondary tumour, as it unfortunately so often does, and by that time the cancer has often developed resistance to treatment. The aim of this £321,183 project, of which £183,497 (57%) has already been raised by the charity, is to develop the innovative tools and techniques needed to understand secondary tumours before they even develop, in order to greatly improve patient outcomes with breast cancer in the first instance and thereby prevent them from having to endure what my mother has had to. [/p][p]So before I leave you all in peace, I want to ask you for your help. I am asking you to join the 35,000 doing the impossible. I am asking you to do the impossible with mum and I, in whatever capacity that may be. I am asking you to help a son, who wasn't there for his mother as much as he should have been. I am asking you to help me fulfil my mother’s wish, that one day others with this disease will have hope.[/p][p]Thank you![/p][p]JF X[/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p][p] [/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p]

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Mar 1, 2020


Absolutely amazing thing to do my friend, very proud of you & honoured to call u a brother 🆎, Your Mum would of been so proud also xx

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Feb 28, 2020

Marianna Curtis

Jordans mum re Jordan running in the LA marathon for Antoinette a cause close to our hearts

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Dec 14, 2019

Shonagh and Terry Delahunty

For your Mum


Oct 10, 2019


What a wonderful story - good luck!


Jun 7, 2019

Rob M

Remarkable effort for the best of causes. Thank you.

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

May 19, 2019

Achilles Barron

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

May 9, 2019

Thomas Spencer

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

May 9, 2019

Jonno and Laura

Wow, what an incredible achievement John!

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

May 8, 2019


Great cause. Well done.

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

May 8, 2019


£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid