Bethan Williams, 28, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, joined thousands of runners on Sunday 22 April to complete the London Marathon in honour of her dad.
Bethan’s dad, Keith Williams, age 64, was the inspiration behind her first London Marathon run. In 2012, Keith was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Prior to this, Keith was fit and healthy and no one else in Bethan’s family had been affected by blood cancer.
Fortunately, the father-of-two, was able to manage his leukaemia. Bethan was keen to raise awareness and vital funds for DKMS, a blood cancer charity dedicated to help the fight against blood cancer through recruiting stem cell donors and providing second chances of life. Despite being the hottest ever London Marathon, Bethan crossed the finish line in a time of 5hrs and 42minutes.
Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer, such as leukaemia. Every year, over 12,000 people die from blood cancers in the UK – making it the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK.
However, only a fraction of the Wakefield population have taken the first steps to register with the charity (916) and just over 68 percent of that figure (625) have returned their swab kit, which is required to be officially added to the UK Aligned Stem Cell Registry.
Bethan has so far raised over £3,000 with all funds to be donated to DKMS, to help them recruit more potential lifesavers.
Bethan Williams, a Senior Assistant Buyer for ASOS, said: “The type of leukaemia that my dad has sadly will never be cured. However, the treatment that he has had at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield, has improved his condition enough to go back to a living a normal life. He has regular blood check ups but last March dad became unwell and had to undergo chemotherapy.
“My dad is my world and although we are extremely lucky he is able to manage his condition, I couldn’t help but think of the many others whose best chance at life is through a blood stem cell donor.
“Thanks to everyone who has supported me, I am thrilled and already have my next challenge in sight.”
To register one potential blood stem cell donor it costs £40. DKMS relies on monetary donations to help cover this cost. Whilst the NHS is very supportive, it falls to charities like us to reach out to lifesavers. Please donate to Bethan and help DKMS register more potential lifesavers.
If you have been inspired to run the London Marathon in 2019, apply for your ballot place – visit www.dkms.org.uk/londonmarathon2019 for further details.