A Dunstable daughter is appealing for businesses to help with her London Marathon mission in honour of three family members who battled cancer.
Clare McGarvey, 42, is taking in her very first Virgin London Marathon in the hope of raising £2,000 for Cancer Research UK (CRUK), after losing her ‘Nan Con’ to the disease in 1997 and later watching both her parents go through treatment at the same time.
Clare is now determined to spread the word about the charity and is looking for businesses to sponsor her or donate prizes for a special raffle.
She said: “I have recently had to watch as both my parents battled with cancer - my mother with breast cancer and my father with bowel cancer.
“However, I am very fortunate to say that they have undergone extensive treatments and have been free from cancer for three years now.
“My nan’s full name was Constance Nash - my brother and I called her Nanny Connie or Nanny Con. My Nan played a very big part in my life and to this day I get choked when I think about her.”
Clare chose the 2019 London Marathon as her fundraising challenge because she lost four and a half stone through attending a local slimming club in November, inspiring her to take up running.
And she has some poignant memories of her parents - Christina and Steven Goult - to motivate her.
Clare said: “To have had one parent diagnosed with cancer was tough enough but to then find out that your other parent is diagnosed within one week of the other was almost incomprehensible.
“We almost lost my father, but we all rallied together as a family does.I think the toughest moment for me personally was the morning my mum called me crying because she said she looked like a witch.
“She had lost lots of her hair but it was fairly suddenly and she was left with tufts of it.
“My mum’s hair has always been her pride and joy.
“I asked my daughter to come over with me and she shaved it off. My mum was amazing - she cried with relief and couldn’t thank my daughter, Jessica, enough.I want my parents know how proud I am of them.”
Clare’s challenge has so far had support from local Beds and Bucks businesses including IRMAK BBQ, The Suntrap, The Froth and Elbow pub, Beauty Q, Houghton Regis Leisure Centre, Daytona Go Karting MK, Buy a Gift, Big 10 Smoke and Grill, Sizzlers, Snakes and Ladders, BeBlissful Beauty, and Woburn Safari Park.
To contact Clare, email: Clare.McGarvey@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk