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‘From chemo to a marathon in nine months’: inspirational academic takes on London Marathon


An inspirational registered nurse and lecturer will run the London Marathon this weekend, just nine months after having her last chemotherapy treatment.

Claire Flatt, Lecturer in Adult Nursing at Birmingham City University, will take her place among the field at the iconic race (Sunday 28 April), having already helped raise thousands of pounds for cancer charities.

The 26-mile event follows a number of fundraising challenges Claire had set family and friends since she received her diagnoses two years ago.

Claire was 33-years-old when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in August 2017. Just two weeks later, she was also diagnosed with breast cancer.

Although otherwise fit and healthy and having had regular smear tests, she received the shocking diagnoses. Her cancers were unrelated to each other.

With family and friends struggling to come to terms with the news and unsure of how best to support her, Claire used her illness as a force for good, setting them fundraising challenges to raise money for Cancer Research and Macmillan Cancer Support.

To date, £22,000 has been raised from over 50 fundraising activities including triathlons, mud runs, cake sales, pancake challenges, car washes, climbing Snowden and driving days.

Over the past 18 months, Claire has undergone five operations, three types of chemotherapy and two types of radiotherapy.

Deciding she too needed a challenge, Claire took up running, with the ultimate goal of running the London Marathon.

Claire said: “I’ve tried to share my experiences with cancer and as a patient to raise awareness and support others going through this too.

“I suffer from fatigue, nerve damage and achy joints from the treatment, but have since increased my running distance to 20 miles.

“I’ve raised £10,000 for Macmillan so far and all the money raised goes back into Birmingham and the Black Country.

“Every day a staggering 34 people in Birmingham and the Black Country hear the devastating news that they have cancer. I hope sharing my story will help give others hope and help them feel less alone in their diagnosis.”

To donate, please visit Claire’s JustGiving page. Follow Claire’s journey on Twitter: #claireschallenge

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