Luton insurance claims technician Rachel Finlay, 34, can’t wait to cross the finishing line at this year’s London Marathon.
She says it will be quite emotional because, hopefully, it will symbolise the end of a traumatic chapter in her life.
It started when her 33-year-old husband Ross, a property manager, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2015.
Rachel recalls: “He’d been unwell for a number of months. Our doctor kept saying it was IBS but Ross had had various tests and seen a dietician and it didn’t get any better.
“He asked for a referral and I just thank our lucky stars we had private health insurance. He was diagnosed in November, had surgery in December and started chemo in January last year.
“It was quite a shock because he was only 32, which is quite uncommon – it usually affects men in their 60s and there’s often a family history, which there wasn’t with Ross.
“Looking back it was like a huge whirlwind in our lives. On the surface we got through it relatively well but behind closed doors it was much harder.
“Ross went on the Beating Bowel Cancer website and got some comfort reading other people’s stories. The charity was really there for us when we needed them they gave us a lot of support.”
Ross has now made a full recovery although he still has six-monthly check-ups.
The couple – who met at Ashcroft High – decided they wanted to give something back and raise awareness of the disease.
They belong to Boxfit Triathlon Club and are delighted that 13 fellow members will be doing the marathon alongside them in aid of Beating Bowel Cancer.
They’re also close to hitting their target of £12,500 and hope Luton News readers will add to this amount by donating at www.justgiving.com/MrMrsFinlay
> Bowel cancer info at www.beatingbowelcancer.org