Five runners are taking part in this year's Virgin London Marathon raising funds for Oracle

Over the coming months we’ll be sharing our London Marathon team’s tales from the road. With just over five months to go, so far we have five runners taking in the Virgin Money Giving Marathon in October 2021 to raise funds for Oracle Cancer Trust. If running 26.2 miles is on your bucket list, why not join us? Find out more here, but in the meantime, meet Kitty and Stephen.

"My name is Kitty and I will be running the 2021 London Marathon for Oracle Cancer Trust. Running a marathon has always been on my 'bucket list' and during the last few years, I've started to enjoy running and put more time into it, although keeping active has always been a hobby of mine. Running for a charity which meant something to me was an important part of the decision process, and Oracle felt like the obvious choice. My grandfather had throat cancer when I was a child and went through a lot of treatment pre and post-surgery. Although he later passed away, I was amazed at what the doctors could do - and the more research is done then more lives could be saved which why I'm supporting Oracle and they amazing work they do."

Thank you so much Kitty, we’re certain your Grandfather would be delighted. We’re looking forward to hearing how your training goes.

Here’s Stephen explaining why he decided to take on this challenge:

“As a dentist I am very aware of head and neck cancer, especially oral cancer. At every dental check-up appointment we not only check our patient’s teeth and gums, but we also assess the surround soft tissues – lips, cheeks, palate, floor of mouth and tongue. Dentists are usually the first people to notice persistent mouth ulcers don’t heal, lumps that look abnormal or patches in the mouth, like lichen planus, that change in appearance.

"I work predominantly in a private dental practice providing general and specialist treatments, but for over 12 years (until the outbreak of Covid 19) I worked in the Maxillo-facial and Oral Surgery Department, at Northwick Park Hospital. I was as part of the team with very skilled and dedicated Maxillofacial Surgeons who treated patients suffering from head and neck cancer. My job was to provide the oral rehabilitation of patients once they had completed their surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I replaced their teeth to enable them to eat, helped to improve their speech and restored their smiles and self-confidence. I’ve continued to treat these patient’s after they have been discharged from the hospital.

"Most recently once of my closest friend’s mother was diagnosed with oral cancer. As this was so close to home, I fully aware of what she had to go through. Her surgery was successfully completed a month ago and we were all very relieved to learn that she did not need to have radiotherapy.

"I have run the London marathon five times. I raised funds for four different charities but this is the first time I have run the marathon to raise funds for a charity that is so pertinent to me and my profession. I’d like to thank Sally and Oracle Cancer Trust for offering me the opportunity to run the London Marathon to raise funds for such a worthwhile cause. I am particularly grateful that this year the marathon is in October so that I have summer months to train in.”

We’re delighted to have you on the team Stephen and we hope your friend continues to make a good recovery. We look forward to hearing how your summer training goes.

And lastly for now, meet Patrick Elder (pictured below), a veteran marathon runner who is back for more!

“Hello, I’m Patrick and I’m also running the 2021 London Marathon for Oracle Cancer Trust. This will be my fourth marathon, but it never gets any easier! As an NHS doctor, I have had first-hand experience of the devastating impact of head and neck cancer on patients, both in relation to the cancer itself and its treatment, which can be disfiguring and can destroy their quality of life. I am delighted to be able to support a charity that is doing such fantastic work to improve the outcomes for these patients.”

Good luck with training around such a busy job Patrick, although it sounds like you have had plenty of practice juggling it all. We’re thrilled to have you on the team.

Next month we’ll introduce you to Luke and D’Arcy who have also signed up to take on this bucket list challenge. They originally planned to take part in 2020 so have had quite a rollercoaster ride so far. If you’re tempted to take on a challenge for Oracle now restrictions are lifting, email Sally and she can talk you through some of the opportunities we have lined up.

Or maybe you would like to do something completely unique for the Captain Tom 100 Challenge on 30th April. Whatever it is, we’ll help you every step of the way to ensure you have a great time raising funds to help people affected by head and neck cancer, like Kitty’s grandfather, Stephen’s friend and Patrick’s patients.