Members of #teamICR: Gareth Roberts (left), Marika Wiebe-Williams and William Faversham (top), Caroline Kingsbury-Margetts (bottom), James Fuller (right).
This year 22 people are joining #teamICR to run the Virgin Money London Marathon to raise funds for cancer research. We wish all of our runners the best of luck! Find out about some of their stories below.
Quick links to the stories:
Marika Wiebe-Williams and William Anderson, Faversham
UPDATE: Unfortunately Marika has had some health complications in the run up to the London marathon and will not be able to run. William will still be running on the day. We thank Marika and William for their ongoing support and our thoughts are with her and her family.
Marika and William are running three marathons in a month to raise money for the ICR.
Marika was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2016. Unfortunately just before she was due to begin radiotherapy treatment, she found out her cancer had recurred. She has been on life extending chemotherapy ever since.
Before she is no longer able to run, Marika's dream was to run the London marathon once more. This wasn't quite enough of a challenge for her, so she decided she would run three marathons in a month – in London, Milton Keynes, and Edinburgh.
Marika has nodules in her left lung which unfortunately led to water collecting on her lung membranes.
In January she was told by doctors to take a break from running. Due to what William calls her 'dogged determination', Marika kept on training by swiftly walking 17 to 18 miles at the weekends. In March, she was given the go ahead to start training again.
Marika is determined to finish all three races. She said: "By hook or by crook I am getting over those finish lines, even if I have to crawl. I am so grateful to William, I couldn't do it without him!"
William said: "Imagine my surprise when Marika told me I will be running three marathons with her. I had no choice obviously, so I will be with her every step of the way".
If you would like to support Marika and William in their incredible efforts, you can donate on their Virgin Money Giving page.
Read Marika's story
Gareth Roberts, Bridgend
Gareth has a history of knee problems, and never thought he would be able to run. He describes himself as 'the opposite of a typical runner', and had to give up playing rugby when he left school as his knees used to dislocate regularly.
In all, Gareth has had 12 operations on his knees, and never imagined he would be able to run – but after his last surgery he took on the Cardiff 10K.
In the following two years Gareth managed to run two half marathons and several 10K races – and he has always dreamed of one day finishing the London Marathon.
Now, Gareth is all set to run the marathon in honour of his grandfather who died from oesophageal cancer seven years ago.
Gareth said: "My grandfather was always the fellow I looked up to the most. He was my inspiration!
"I am really looking forward to running the marathon. With my history of knee problems, I'm the opposite of a typical runner. My determination is there – I just need the fitness now."
If you would like to support Gareth, you can donate on his Just Giving page.
James Fuller, Bedford
James talked to the ICR about his motivations for running for #teamICR:
"The key to my fundraising was the early arrival of my fundraising pack which included my vest, I was so proud the first moment I tried it on! In July 2017 I opened my justgiving page and it has become an obsession ever since!
"I went to my local curry house one evening, and by the time I'd left I had bought every seat in the house for the last day of February. As well as the profit from the ticket sales and a slice of the booze profits I held an auction for items that people had brought along. £550 was raised (including £12 from selling one banana) and a great night was had by all.
"This saw me smash through my target but I wouldn't rest easy, I am still pressing on and have just gone over 150% of my target.
"I feel so honoured to be educating people on what the ICR does, without the work that they put in, this amazing research would not happen. And if I can help by pushing myself to 26.2 miles I will be doing so as part of an amazing team, #teamICR.
"#teamICR is made up of amazing individuals, and each has their own story as to why we are doing what we are. I have already made friends as we have been sharing training stories and plans, and I'm looking forward to meeting my team mates on the day before or on the morning of the marathon.
"On the morning of Sunday 22 April we take on the marathon as a team and I can't wait for a beer afterwards...Hollywood Dave said he's paying!"
If you would like to support James, you can donate on his Just Giving page.
Read James' story
Caroline Kingsbury-Margetts, Taunton
Caroline was diagnosed with cervical cancer two years ago and had a radical hysterectomy. Unfortunately, it was then found that she had a secondary tumour in her left lung, and Caroline had further surgery to remove the lower part of her left lung.
Caroline had a long and painful recovery, with five months off work. Once she was feeling a bit better Caroline was keen to improve her fitness levels, and decided to start running.
Initially any activity was extremely difficult and even walking a mile would cause breathlessness. Caroline also sometimes experiences pain caused by the scar tissue from her lung surgery. She will be taking the race slow and steady, but has successfully succeeded in reaching the 20-mile mark during her training and is ready to take on the marathon.
Caroline said: "I had a lot of friends that weren't as lucky as me. You don't realise just how many people are affected by cancer, and how much until you are in that world yourself. I feel extremely lucky and it's an amazing opportunity to be able to give something back for other people in similar situations in the future."
If you would like to support Caroline in running the marathon you can donate to her Virgin Money Giving page.
Read Caroline's story