A THATCHAM woman is taking on her first marathon for two causes close to her heart, with the aim of raising awareness in the next generation.
Maxine Chadderton is running in memory of her mother, who ran the London Marathon several times and died from breast cancer 10 years ago.
“I have always wanted to do it, but it’s just finding the time,” said Miss Chadderton.
“I have two kids, but it just kind of felt right to apply this time.”
The mother-of-two is running for Children with Cancer UK in honour of her mother and a close friend, as well as raising awareness of the impact of the disease.
She said: “I lost my mum to cancer 10 years ago.
“I knew I wanted to run for a cancer charity.
“Mum died when she was 59. I said if I ever do a marathon, London has got to be my first one. She must have done it 10 to 12 times.
“A good friend of mine, who I have known for 20 years, his son had neuroblastoma.
“He had a long course of treatment and is the same age as my eldest, seven.”
Miss Chadderton entered the ballot for the charity, but didn’t make the cut.
Desperate to find out if she could run for her chosen cause, she called up the charity, which subsequently offered her a place over the phone after being impressed by her fundraising and dedication.
Last Friday, Miss Chadderton was there to see Francis Baily Primary School pupils turn out to run a mini marathon around the school field.
“It’s amazing, when I contacted [headteacher] Mr Davis, I said I would like some support if you can,” she said.
“He made all the suggestions about Sport Relief and sports day and doing the equivalent of a marathon with kids doing laps of the school field, which puts it into perspective.
“I think because everybody knows somebody who has been affected by cancer, it’s making people aware.
“If it encourages kids to do it or get them out running then it’s worth it.”
Mr Davis said: “It’s very important for children to be physically active, so we are really pleased to support Maxine in her London Marathon fundraising and take part in Sports Relief more generally.”
Miss Chadderton’s fundraising has been boosted by Tigers Nurseries, which raised £1,700 during a sports week across its nurseries.
A Christmas fete at Francis Baily Primary School, an online raffle and a dress-down day at her partner Carl Udry’s workplace Hitachi have topped up the funds.
“I could have done it three times over,” Miss Chadderton said.
“That many people have been affected by cancer. Everyone just wanted to support it.”
Her efforts have paid off as her target of £3,000 has been exceeded and she is now upping her total to £5,000.
“It’s hard work but I’ve really enjoyed it,” she said.
To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/maxine-chadderton1