Desborough woman to run seven marathons in seven days for cancer charity
When most runners cross the finishing line at the London Marathon on Sunday (October 3), they'll put their feet up and have a well-earned break.
But not Desborough woman Danielle Mellows - who will be preparing to do it all over again, and again, and again, and again, and again and again.
She will be running seven marathons in seven consecutive days to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, a charity close to her heart.
The 32-year-old has dedicated her life to supporting people affected by cancer since losing her nan Sheila to breast cancer in 2005 and later her grandad Peter, who died from melanoma last year.
In the last 12 months she has supported more than 340 people from the Kettering area in her role as Macmillan information and support lead at Kettering General Hospital. Providing much-needed practical, emotional and financial support virtually, by telephone, video call and email, her service has been a lifeline to many throughout the pandemic.
Now she is playing a crucial role in driving forward the brand new Macmillan Support Centre which is due to be completed next year. When she isn’t doing her day job, she’s pounding the streets, running to raise money for Macmillan.
Danielle said: “My grandparents’ experience is always with me, it’s what inspires me in my job every day.
"I want to ensure that every single person who is diagnosed with cancer has access to the support they need from the moment of diagnosis. Seeing both my nan and grandad go through cancer, and doing the job I do, I know how much Macmillan needs our support to be there for the growing number of people affected by cancer which is why I wanted to set myself this challenge.”
Danielle has been fundraising for Macmillan since 2016 when she did her first 26.2 mile race for the charity, having never run before.
She said: “I didn’t even run to the shops, I was just not a runner. Then seeing how cancer affected by nan I wanted to do something to support Macmillan so threw myself in!”
Since then, she’s completed 10 more marathons and runs around 40 miles each week - but this will be her biggest challenge yet.
Danielle said: “To have won a place on the London Marathon this year feels really significant, as not only is Macmillan the Virgin London Marathon’s official charity partner, but we have also started building work on a brand new Macmillan Support Centre at Kettering General Hospital! It feels like everything is coming together, so I just thought, why not push myself one step further.”
After finishing the London Marathon on October 3, Danielle will return to Northamptonshire and run another six marathons around the county, covering a different area each day and finishing off at her regular Corby parkrun.
She said: “I have a good training plan with good nutrition, plenty of fluids and a great playlist.
"I also have friends and family joining me on different days to run with me. It isn’t going to be easy but living with cancer on a daily basis is not easy.”
The money Danielle raises will help to fund Macmillan services to support the 24,000 people living with or beyond cancer in Northamptonshire, including the brand new Macmillan Support Centre being built at KGH.
The centre - the first in North Northamptonshire - will bring a range of vital cancer support services together under one roof. As well as providing information on all aspects of cancer, emotional and psychological support, the centre will provide welfare benefits advice, wig fitting and signpost to other local services.
To support Danielle and make a donation visit her fundraising page here.