Why this #TeamSarcoma hero wants to fill the world with superheroes.
Fiona Jenkinson, 40, from Skipton, North Yorkshire, had just started to get into running seriously when her brother-in-law became terminally ill with Ewing’s sarcoma.
‘Jason was so brave and funny throughout his illness, even when he was left paralysed from the waist down. It was the first time that I realised that growing old wasn't a given,’ remembers Helen, who owns a business in Skipton with her partner, Andrew. ‘Seeing Jason lose the use of his legs made me vow that I would appreciate the legs that I was given’. For Fiona, running became a way of dealing with the stress of the death of a friend and of learning that another friend’s young son had leukaemia. ‘I found that running was my escape and raising money for charity my way of giving back.’
Fiona has become a strong advocate for the healing power of running, having found that exercise has helped with the symptom of mental health issues. ‘Running has been my saviour. No matter how fast, slow or far, it makes me feel like I am living my life. I want others to feel that same joy.’
This year, Fiona is taking on now just the Virgin Money London Marathon for Sarcoma UK but she’s also organising a Virtual Run on 7 March, having hugely enjoyed a virtual event in support of a family last year. ‘have found friends all over the world who share the joy of running, and boy did I give it my everything! It felt great to do something to help show the family we cared.
Now she’s organising a 5K superhero-themed virtual event inspired by the strength and determination of people with sarcoma. ‘I want people to spend that 5k appreciating their bodies, our amazing bodies that are capable of so much. I want them to think of all those superheroes who battle every day and honour them. To see social media alive with photos of superheroes and smiles and raise money and awareness for sarcoma because everyone deserves the chance to grow old.’
Fiona is one of 85 heroes taking part in the Virgin Money London Marathon in April. She has organised her superhero virtual run, Not All Heroes Wear Capes, for 7 March with the help of Racebest. Could you do something similar? Let us know.