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Image of Lynn enjoying dinner in the sun

How fundraising helped Liz through her grief

When Liz’s lifelong friend Lynn was diagnosed with bowel cancer, Liz took on the challenge of running the London Landmarks Half Marathon. Her fundraising helps Guy’s Cancer Charity to support advances in cancer care that enhance lives.

Liz and Lynn were lifelong friends, having met at university at age 17. They ended up living close by to one another, becoming colleagues as well as friends, enjoying holidays, and seeing their daughters grow up together.

In 2017, Lynn was diagnosed with bowel cancer and spent the next seven years undergoing treatment. When Liz visited her late last year, it was clear Lynn’s health had deteriorated.

“Lynn was such a big part of my life – she was incredibly generous and determined. So it was really upsetting to see her like that. Then, while out walking, I saw something about the London Landmarks Half Marathon. I suddenly felt I wanted to take a sad, negative situation and do something positive and physical. I signed up right away,” said Liz.

Liz decided to run for Guy’s Cancer Charity, as her parents met and trained at Guy’s Hospital.

“As well as my family connection, it’s important to me to support research. Scientists work so hard, and they’re doing great work. They need funding.”

For Liz, training for the race as part of her running club has been transformative, creating a strong support network.

Training and fundraising gave me a focus… It’s difficult to talk about death, but while running you’re focused on the path ahead. It’s easier to open up.

Liz Freemont

Sadly, Lynn died in March this year, and her funeral took place just two days before the London Landmarks Half Marathon.

“At the funeral, I felt I had to keep it together because of the run. So when I got to the finish line, I burst into tears – it was relief, but also a milestone. It was a positive thing that I did for Lynn.”

As well as helping to create more moments of progress at Guy’s Cancer, taking on this running challenge has taught Liz about herself.

“It is amazing what you can do! My running club has been a community. It’s taught me that everyone is different but it’s good to talk to people outside of your world.”

Just like the pioneering Guy’s Cancer team, Liz wants to encourage others to be brave and take positive steps forward.

With the dedication of Liz, and so many others like her, we can continue to support advances in cancer care that enhance lives.

We often build up excuses, but I’d encourage people to say yes more often. You never know what you might get out of it. Don’t get hung up on worries. Just do it!

Liz Freemont
Liz Freemont at the London Landmarks Half Marathon

Take on the One Life Challenge

Whether it’s running, walking, picking up a new language or learning an instrument, take on a once-in-a-lifetime challenge to remember your loved one.