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Mum’s cancer battle leads to half marathon

For Jane Gould, the one single driving force behind her finishing this year’s ABP Southampton Half Marathon is her mum. 

She will be wearing her Southampton Hospital Charity vest with pride, as she takes part in her latest running challenge. And her sole focus will be to raise as much money as possible for the Cancer Information and Support Centre at University Hospital Southampton.
“Mum and I both used their services during her battle with lung cancer, and I know how impressed she was and how helpful she found it,” said Jane. “It was somewhere that both of us were able to go and sit and talk to the lovely staff and volunteers there.
“It has such a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, and they are there not only for the person suffering with the cancer - but also for their family and carers.”
Although Jane now has several half marathons under her belt, the experience never gets easier, with each challenge leaving its mark on both body and mind: “They hurt,” she said. 
“But there is one thing that will always get me over that finish line - and that is Mum. I choose to take part in these events even though I know they will hurt, but Mum never had that luxury. She had no choice but to endure the pain that the treatment gave her. 
“From the very moment she was told there was something on her lung, she was scared. Yet she still fought it with everything she had right until the very end. I will never forget her bravery.”
Southampton Hospital Charity helps to enhance the care and treatment of patients at University Hospital Southampton. It works with supporters to raise money and provide financial support to areas of the hospital service that lie beyond the scope of NHS funding. 
Jane knows firsthand about the benefit from the services as she has recently started at the charity as the Fundraising Assistant: “Cancer doesn’t care who it picks on - adults, children, men, women, rich or poor, you just never know,” she added. “I have known too many people lose their battle with this horrible illness and I know many who are still fighting it with everything they can.
“Taking part in the ABP Southampton Half Marathon is giving me a valuable opportunity to raise money for the Cancer Support Centre. I hope they can continue to provide the same service we received to other families in need for years to come.”
Nikki Rees, one of the ABP Southampton Marathon organisers, said: “Like so many, Jane and her family have been affected by cancer - and the turmoil and sadness it brings. We are proud she’ll be going all out to raise funds for a charity that provides tremendously important practical and emotional support for those who need it most. We’d all like to wish her the very best on the day, as she faces this very personal challenge.” 
The ABP Southampton Marathon takes place on Sunday, April 22. It features a 10k, half marathon and children's mile fun run as well as a full marathon. All races start and finish in the heart of Southampton’s city centre with the run course taking in iconic local landmarks including the Bargate, Itchen Bridge, Riverside Park and the Common before reaching a stunning finish by the Guildhall in the city centre. 
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