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Maidenhead mum to run London Marathon one year on from cancer op

A mum who is awaiting the all clear since undergoing a cancer treatment operation last year will run the London Marathon for Macmillan.

Kellie Johnston, 37, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in March last year and relied on the cancer support charity’s help afterwards.

The marathon, which takes place on Sunday, April 22, will come five days after she gets results that will show if she is clear of cancer, which she has been told is likely.

“I am doing it to prove I can beat this bloody disease,” the Maidenhead resident said.

She decided to run it after she watched it while recovering from her operation in April last year.

After failing to get on the ballot she was offered the chance to run for Macmillan, and a nurse from the charity began to help her over the phone following the diagnosis.

“She was absolutely amazing. She just made me feel so comfortable,” Kellie said.

The decision to run helped her come to terms with getting the news that she had cancer. She went to the doctor’s after feeling a lump in her neck and an ultrasound revealed the disease.

“I remember being sat in this chair. I said ‘I can’t have cancer, I’m 37 and have two kids’.

“The consultant was really upbeat. He said ‘this is the best one to have’.

“I blanked out a little bit.

“I didn’t really know what was going on to be honest.”

She told her two children, Jack, now seven, and Izzy, five, that ‘mum has got a lump in her neck and the doctor’s got to take it out’.

Following her operation to remove 30 lymph nodes, she returned home with a scar across her neck to Izzy, who attempted to use her Peppa Pig doctor’s kit to heal the wound.

Jack asked: “Is food going to start coming out of it?”

Last summer she underwent radioactive iodine treatment.

Kellie said the kids, and her husband David – who, like Kellie, is a director of Maidenhead-based co-working enterprise MyWorkSpot, helped her through her recovery.

But training for the marathon has also benefited Kellie, allowing her to take her mind off the disease.

“I can’t do any more,” Kellie said ahead of the run.

She had to forget about any other concerns about the run and focus on raising money and awareness for Macmillan.

“I think I have really had to remind myself in the last week about why I am doing it,” she said. I got really obsessed in the last week about pace.”

Kellie has raised more than £6,000 online.

Visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kellie-johnston to donate.

W The Advertiser will be profiling other London Marathon runners in next week’s edition.

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