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Image of Brooke running the London Landmarks half marathon

Brooke’s half-marathon run for her Nan

When Brooke’s Nan, Anne, passed away in 2021, she resolved to run the London Landmarks Half Marathon to raise money for Guy’s Cancer.

Brooke’s Nan, Anne, was a massive part of her life. Described by Brooke as “the smallest woman, with the largest character,” the family were devastated when she passed away from bowel cancer.

Brooke was determined to take on the London Landmarks Half Marathon to fundraise for Guy’s Cancer Charity and the hospital that gave her more precious moments with her Nan.

Growing up, Brooke and her brother, Ben, spent much of their childhood with their Nan, Anne. Even as Brooke became a young adult, they remained close, seeing each other a few times a week. They loved shopping together and having lunch in Anne’s garden in warmer weather.

“My Nan meant everything to me, and to my brother. She was a constant in my life. We were always together, and all my childhood memories include her,” remembers Brooke.

In March 2020, at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, Anne started to feel unwell and was losing weight. Describe as “a strong and resilient woman,” the family were immediately worried – Anne wasn’t someone who often talked about her health.

Following a blood test, the family were devastated when Anne was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer at age 67. She was placed under the expert care of Guy’s Cancer, and her consultant, Dr Jihan Tan, created a personalised treatment plan to help prolong her life.

I’m grateful to Guy’s Cancer... We were told she would have a year to live, and she got exactly that. We got to celebrate our birthdays, and our last Christmas together. Time is the best gift that you can give someone.


Anne had chemotherapy at Lewisham Hospital, which kept her feeling positive and healthy for nine months. But in early 2021, she began to feel weak and unwell. A CT scan revealed that the cancer had spread to her brain, and she now needed round-the-clock care at Guy’s Cancer. Although Brooke couldn’t visit her Nan in hospital due to the Covid-19 pandemic, her Mum, Leigh, was by her side.

“The Guy’s Cancer team were so attentive. Everyone is different and my Nan didn’t want to talk about dying. The nurses were so respectful of that – they adapted to her needs. And for my Mum, who was dealing with losing her mum, the nurses acted like family. They just knew what to say, even when there was nothing to say,” said Brooke.

Anne sadly died at home in March 2021, almost exactly a year after her diagnosis. Two months later, Brooke’s daughter was born, and it only felt right to name her Elsie-Anne, in memory of her brilliant Nan.

Although she had never run before, Brooke resolved to run the London Landmarks Half Marathon to say thank you to Guy’s Cancer for giving her family more precious moments together.

For Brooke, race day was also a celebration of her bright and bubbly Nan, and she’d encourage anyone to take on a similar challenge.

The Half Marathon gave me a special day dedicated to my Nan. Every person who goes out and raises money makes a difference. You’ll never feel bad after you’ve gone out of your comfort zone. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done, so take the leap!

Image of Brooke and her Nan

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