Woman who worked in genetics discovered she had cancer - after running the London marathon

Jo runs the London marathon - without knowing she has cancer

Jo runs the London marathon - without knowing she has cancer - Credit: Archant

A teacher who worked in genetics research in Cambridge before discovering she was suffering with cancer is holding a fund raising night for leukaemia and lymphoma research.

Jo raises money for cancer charities

Jo raises money for cancer charities - Credit: Archant

Joanne Pollington, 26, is holding a charity race night next month, having already raised £2,700.

Before qualifying as a maths teacher last year, Miss Pollington worked in research at the Sanger Genome research institute in Cambridge which meant she was acutely aware of the importance of medical research.

She said: “In May last year I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Since then I have undergone 12 sessions of chemotherapy, my last one being on December 23.

“I have recently heard that the chemotherapy has been successful and the tumours are no longer active. In a few weeks I start three weeks of radiotherapy.

“One month prior to diagnosis last year I ran the London Marathon, unknown that I had cancer at the time. I’ve been told since I had a tumour that was 10cm by 8cm on top of my heart.

“I completed the marathon in 5hr15 minutes and was very disappointed with my time as I was hoping for something closer to 4hr30!”

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Since undergoing the treatment she is now committed to raising money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma research after one of her friend’s, who said nothing would ever convince her to run a marathon after watching her, how has a charity marathon place.

Miss Pollington said: “It convinced her that if I can do it while having cancer, then she can do it too.”

Her dad Steve Pollington, who runs the Secret Garden Touring caravan park in Wisbech St Mary, said: “ Now with a positive end to this terrible disease in sight, and getting her energy back she has the bit between her teeth to do more fund raising, before she makes a slow start at work again in May - a new job as a Maths teacher at Saffron Walden county high school.

He said she wanted to give something back as: “Joanne has had such a positive experience with all the cancer related professionals, and has experienced first had the incredible work and support of Macmillan.”

A race night takes place on Saturday March 14 at Leverington Sports and Social Club. The first race starts at 8pm.

There will also be a charity auction. Prize donations will be gratefully received.

People can contact Mr Pollington at The Secret Garden Campsite, Wisbech St Mary or call 078909 6786.