More than 100 people will take part in a “fun-packed” running event this weekend to help raise money for a north-east woman’s cancer treatment.
Marie Dobson, from Newmachar, was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in June 2019 which has now sadly spread to her bones, bone marrow and liver.
The lifelong runner has decided to turn her passion into a fundraiser by organising the Run4Marie event with activities for the whole family.
It will take place on Sunday, October 10, just three days before Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
She said: “I’m a born runner, obsessed with running, so it all stemmed from there.
“There will be a 5K, 10K, children’s mile and family obstacle route which will be really good fun. There’s also a virtual option for those who can’t make it. I’ve got various stalls, the Hattoncrook Deli is coming, bouncy castles, face painting, you name it.
“It’s going to be a fun-packed family day – with some running involved.”
‘This makes me happy’
The 38-year-old has been planning the event with help from her sister, Emma Dobson, and says the duo make a great team.
She said: “She’s absolutely amazing, the best sister you could ask for. She doesn’t even like running, but she was like ‘I’ll help you, I’ll do everything’. We’ve been working together over the past six weeks to try and make it as big as we can.
“Organising the event has been a great focus for me, it makes me happy. I don’t know how long I have left in this world, but I wanted to create my legacy, and if Run4Marie is it, I’ll be so proud.
“Cancer is horrible and I know I’ve been dealt a horrible card. I always question why, I was so healthy as an athlete and look after myself, and the doctors always say it’s just unlucky.
“I just want to do things that I love and live life to the max as much as I can. And doing this makes me happy.”
The support has been ‘absolutely fantastic’
The first Run4Marie event took pace at Haddo House in October 2019, just a few months after her diagnosis, and raised more than £3,000.
Since then, she has gained a lot of support from sponsors, including Westside Recovery, Vans4U, Sunnyhill Motors Ltd, Lawrence of Kemnay, Alistair Buchan Cars, CW Logistics and Aberness.
Marie said: “I’ve had some lovely people and sponsors come onboard. It has been so nice having that support, putting in a bit of money to help me with the event running costs.
“Eat on the Green have been promoting the run and my Just Giving page, it’s nice to have the community involved and seeing local people supporting me is so good.
“And then people entering has been absolutely fantastic. From people I don’t know to friends and family, also people I’ve met from athletics and previous work. It’s a really good mix of people taking part and lots of ages.
“Some people never run and others do a lot, so it’s absolutely amazing. At the moment we have around 130, but if we hit 150 I would be really chuffed.”
£35,000 miracle treatment
Miss Dobson hopes the money raised from Run4Marie will be able to fund Dendrix cell treatment which she says is her last option. The potential miracle treatment isn’t available through the NHS and will cost £35,000.
“I’m so overwhelmed by how many people are supporting me, and just giving me that chance. I’m only 38 and I’ve been given three months to live, and I just don’t want to die.
“I want to be here and just being given that chance to possibly get that treatment is absolutely amazing.
“I’ve not had a very good draw of it, the treatments are failing and the cancer has progressed quite significantly since 2019. Secondary breast cancer is very difficult to treat and sadly I’m on the last option, and there’s nothing else really after that.”
Through Run4Marie, the personal trainer hopes she can also spread awareness of secondary breast cancer so other people will know what signs and symptoms to look out for.
She said: “Raising awareness of secondary breast cancer is so important and the research done isn’t anywhere near what is done for primary breast cancer.
“I think it is really important that people know that and understand that if I don’t receive this treatment, if I don’t look at anything else, I will die. And it’s the same for a lot of other people, so we need to raise awareness.
“I was 35 when I was diagnosed with primary breast cancer and at that point I just thought, I’ve done this, I’ve done the chemo and a whole year of treatment, I am away, I’m not spending my whole life in hospital.
“Looking out for lumps and aspects of the breast changing – what is normal to you, has that changed? – that’s obviously key things when it comes to primary.
Be aware of your normal
“But I didn’t know the symptoms of secondary breast cancer and I wish I did. I experienced a huge amount of pain in my bones and I just thought I was injured. If I knew that could be secondary breast cancer, I would have gone to get checked.
“That was my main symptom, sadly now I know the cancer had travelled to my bone marrow my liver. I also had pain in the right side of my body and an upset stomach because of the enzymes being pushed from my liver.
“But, I do believe that if I wasn’t so fit and healthy, I wouldn’t be here right now, doing these things that I love. So, it’s also about early prevention, being as healthy as possible, getting out for a run or a walk, and it would be fantastic if I could get people to do that.
“Just be aware of what is your normal and if there is anything suspicious, follow it up. Push if you don’t think it’s right, if your gut is telling you, if you’ve spent time trying to fix something and it hasn’t worked, push to get the answers.”