In October 2018 I lost my Step-Dad Bill to oesophagus cancer.

By the time Bill's cancer was diagnosed in March 2018, it was already at an advanced stage and unfortunately the prognosis was poor.

I have since found out that this is sadly very common with oesophagus cancer as the early warning signs are often ignored, dismissed and/or self-medicated with over the counter remedies.

Bill suffered from persistent heartburn, which can be an early sign of oesophagus cancer and should not be ignored. It was not until Bill started suffering from dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing) that he was referred for an invasive gastroscope test which diagnosed the cancer.

Early diagnosis of oesophagus cancer significantly improves the prognosis and saves lives.

Heartburn Cancer UK have been involved in a pilot of the new cyto sponge test. This is a simple easy test which can detect oesophagus cancer at an early stage, thus saving lives.

I am taking on the London Marathon to raise funds for Heartburn Cancer UK and support the early diagnosis of oesophagus cancer.

When we received the devastating news of Bill's diagnosis, I started running. I hated running at school and do not have a natural ability for running, I'm still not convinced that I enjoy it, but found that this was something I could fit into my life and around visits to Bill. When I was out running I realised I could clear my head as I was concentrating too hard on just keeping going and breathing.

I joined a local running club in 2018, gradually ticking off the milestones from completing my first mile, first parkrun and then progressing to run 10k and then a half marathon.

Having never completed a full marathon before, I am extremely proud to be taking on this challenge in memory of Bill and to support such a fantastic charity. I will be running/walking/crawling the 26.2 miles to raise awareness of the early signs of oesophagus cancer and support the work of Heartburn Cancer in its early diagnosis.

Please support me in this challenge.

Jane Malone