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Long Sutton mum's London Marathon to remember nan who died from pancreatic cancer




A mum will run her first ever marathon to fight pancreatic cancer because it claimed the life of her nan and four of her nan's siblings.

Imogen Varnham (29), from Long Sutton, is a genetic carrier for the disease, which is the 11th most common cancer, the fifth biggest cancer killer and has only a 7% survival rate.

Imogen lost her nan - Dorothy Delahoy (64) - in 2005 - and was herself aged just 15 at the time.

Imogen Varnham treasures the memory of her nan, Dorothy Delahoy
Imogen Varnham treasures the memory of her nan, Dorothy Delahoy

Aged 23, Imogen underwent genetic testing at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, and found she was a carrier of the gene.

"I kind of always knew that it would probably come to me," said Imogen. "Something is going to get me one day but I would like it to be as far away as possible. It hasn't changed my day to day life. There is nothing anyone can do about it."

Money donated to Imogen's Virgin Money Giving page will go to Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Dorothy Delahoy, who died in 2005. (27527235)
Dorothy Delahoy, who died in 2005. (27527235)

As well as raising awareness and ultimately boosting survival rates of what Imogen describes as "a savage cancer",the mum hopes to see a "quick test" developed for earlier diagnosis.

Imogen started training for April's London Marathon last autumn but had to stop in October because of a stress fracture in her leg.

"I was in a boot until a week before Christmas and I have only just started training again," she said. "Last week I ran 15 miles. I am only just coming back from injury."

Imogen, who works for Truckfest organisers Live Promotions, based in Spalding, is following in the footsteps of her dad, Wayne Delahoy.

Wayne -Dorothy's son - has completed several marathons, an ironman, and Ride London twice, and one of the Ride London events was for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Speaking about her nan, Imogen says: "She was a lovely lady, very kind and caring, just a beautiful person."

Imogen is married to Grant and they have sons Jesse (5) and Jaxon (1).

Statistics for pancreatic cancer make grim reading:

* 10,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every year in the UK

* 9,000 people die every year from pancreatic cancer in the UK

* One person dies of pancreatic cancer every hour

To donate visit Virgin Money Giving and search for Imogen Varnham or click here to go straight to the page.

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