Consultant radiographer takes on unique marathon challenge

Helen Gregory plans to take part in a running race every month in 2024 to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support

Published: 14 March 2024 People

A consultant radiographer at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust plans to take part in 12 running races in 12 months this year, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Helen Gregory, a Macmillan consultant radiographer at North West Anglia (NWA) NHS Foundation Trust based in Peterborough City Hospital, completed a beginners’ running course in 2019 and now seeks to fulfil a “lifelong ambition” by taking part in this year’s London Marathon.

By the end of the year, Ms. Gregory intends to have completed a half-marathon every month, around 159 miles in total – and that doesn't include those she runs during training.

Fear and excitement

Ms. Gregory, who is NWA’s only Macmillan consultant therapeutic radiographer in palliative oncology, says she has “mixed emotions of fear and excitement” at the prospect of running the 26-mile route of the London Marathon, which takes place on Sunday, 21 April. 

Her training includes regular all-weather runs and half marathons.

She said: “After completing a beginners’ running course in 2019, my love for running really grew during the pandemic and lockdown. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to run the London Marathon and after a number of failed attempts in the ballot, this year will be a dream come true.

“I have the support and encouragement of a great local running community, friends, family and colleagues, and am really looking forward to the whole atmosphere of the event as well as fulfilling a personal goal.”

Care, support and advice

Macmillan Cancer Support is a charity that offers care, support and advice to patients and families across the UK.

At the NWA Foundation Trust, Ms. Gregory supports patients undergoing inpatient and outpatient palliative radiotherapy who are experiencing symptoms due to secondary or metastatic cancer.

Macmillan has supported Ms. Gregory’s post since 2015.

She explained: “Macmillan gives people with cancer everything they’ve got. If you’re diagnosed, your worries are Macmillan’s worries. Macmillan’s doing whatever it takes. But without your help, Macmillan can’t support everyone who needs them.

“Help me raise funds to help support people with cancer at all points in their diagnosis.”

Ms. Gregory launched her fundraising campaign last year, and so far has raised £390 towards her target of £2,500. 

Donate to Ms. Gregory’s fundraiser here.

(Image: Helen Gregory, via North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust)