A north-east mum-of-two has blasted through a personal wall to support her dad’s cancer battle and continue her lockdown lifestyle change.
Diane Kemp’s father Brian was diagnosed with blood cancer in 2018.
Although the disease is now in remission, the condition is incurable and he requires life-long medication to manage it.
Now Mrs Kemp, from Elgin, has completed her first-ever marathon run to raise £3,300 to support those fighting the condition while also completing her own personal landmark of one year without alcohol.
Lockdown brought ‘too much indulgence’
When lockdown began in March last year, the 35-year-old was like countless others across the country by reducing her physical activity.
Robbed of her usual exercise classes, she found herself eating and drinking more while spending longer in the company of family she was living with.
The human resources manager described herself as having a “funny old relationship” with alcohol, before finally giving it up on May 25 – not touching a drop since.
Mrs Kemp said: “I think we kind of saw lockdown was looming so made a quick jump to move in quite some family.
“In the beginning it felt a bit like a holiday, it was fun staying up late at night enjoying each other’s company, but I was waking up in the mornings ridiculously hungover.
“There was a lot of indulgence. I knew it was only going one way.”
‘I gave running another bash and haven’t looked back’
Within a month of lockdown beginning, Mrs Kemp resolved to change and began pounding the footpaths in Elgin to finally conquer running.
Previous attempts at getting into the routine had been short-lived.
However, this time short runs became slightly longer before finally completing her first 26-mile distance as part of the virtual Edinburgh Marathon event at the weekend – raising £3,300 for blood cancer charity DKMS.
Mrs Kemp said: “I’ve tried and failed to get into running over the years, but with no hope of getting back to my exercise classes, I gave it another bash and haven’t looked back since.
“I ran 5K a day in July and something just clicked.
“The Edinburgh Marathon Festival weekend landed on my one-year alcohol-free anniversary and World Blood Cancer Day.
“All the signs screaming at me ‘you can do this’. I can’t even describe the feeling it gave me when I told my dad that I was signing up and seeing the pride in his face.”
Donations to support Mrs Kemp’s virtual Edinburgh Marathon run can still be made here.