Running for friendship: the road to the London Marathon

Liz snowy run

Liz is running the London Marathon this month as part of #TeamOCA. Undeterred by the recent snow, she tells us about her motivation behind running and fundraising for Ovarian Cancer Action

“My good friend Jo’s daughter Sophie, is currently being treated for ovarian cancer. Friendship is why I am running, with the hope that the money I raise will aid research into treating ovarian cancer, finding a cure and raising awareness of the symptoms so that this disease can be detected early and not left until the later stages, as in the case of Sophie. 

Here Jo, Sophie’s mum will tell you about Sophie’s story - 

Ovarian cancer does affect young women. My daughter, Sophie, is 24 and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in September 2017.  She had been experiencing symptoms, (although she was unaware), of weeing more frequently and feeling a bit of discomfort in her tummy, but she didn’t think much about it. She was living her life as any 24-year-old would! 

After a visit to the doctor an ultrasound confirmed a large mass on each ovary.  Blood tests, an MRI scan, CT scan and biopsy followed and Sophie was told she had ovarian cancer and she had had it for a long time! As a family we were devastated and in total shock.  How had this happened? Sophie had not been unwell at all. 

Two weeks later Sophie was in hospital undergoing major surgery which included a total hysterectomy. Histology results confirmed that Sophie had stage 3c low grade serous ovarian cancer. This is a rare form of ovarian cancer, but not an uncommon ovarian cancer in young women. 

Sophie has just completed six cycles of chemotherapy, the side effects of which have made her feel extremely poorly and caused her to lose her hair. A recent CT scan has confirmed that there are still some nodules of cancer around the liver, so Sophie is facing another operation in March 2018.  She will also have hormonal treatment after this. 

With everything that Sophie has had to go through she has kept strong and maintained a positive attitude and always has a smile on her face! The help and support of family and friends has been immense and they have always been there for all of us and helped us through the darkest of times. 

As Sophie’s mum, I feel it is so important to raise awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer in all women, but especially young women, so that this disease can be caught early. This is the key to it being treated successfully. Raising funds is vital for this research to take place. Thank you.”

Treks, runs, cycles and skydives: find out how you can join #TeamOCA and raise money for our vital ovarian cancer research