AN inspirational cancer survivor from Halesowen is preparing to lace up her boots and run in this Sunday's London Marathon.

Debbie Ringham, aged 40, is taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon in support of Cancer Research UK.

She said: “I know more than most why cancer research is so important.

"I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer back in 2000 at the age of 24, and underwent two operations and radioiodine treatment.

"After successful treatment, I started doing Race For Life to improve my fitness and support Cancer Research UK. I started working for the charity in 2009, working with fantastic cancer researchers across the Midlands who do such amazing work to understand how cancer develops and to relentlessly keep developing better and kinder treatments.”

She added: “In 2014, I found a breast lump and was diagnosed with breast cancer aged 37.

"During my eight cycles of chemotherapy, a scan showed the cancer had spread to my liver - secondary breast cancer. I had a mastectomy and reconstruction in August 2014, and have ongoing hormone therapy aiming to stop oestrogen from fuelling my cancer and keep it under control for as long as possible.

“I gently kept up my running after recovering from surgery, and finished my first ever half marathon, the Birmingham Great Run, in Oct 2015. Six weeks later, I had a major operation to remove 60 per cent of my liver.

"This is part of a Cancer Research UK funded clinical trial called Orange II Plus, aiming to understand more about open vs keyhole liver surgery. Not an easy procedure to recover from, but I'm incredibly thankful that my disease was stable enough to have surgery as a treatment option."

After recovering from surgery Miss Ringham started running again, taking part in Race for Life, the Birmingham Great Run half marathon in October and is now taking on her biggest running challenge to cover 26.2 miles and complete the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday.

She has raised over £3,500 for Cancer Research UK with local businesses donating prizes, and a fundraising quiz night held at Howley Grange Primary School raised over £1800 of this total.

She added: "I am really excited to be taking part in the Virgin Money London Marathon. It will be a major challenge for me, but my training has gone well and I’m looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere, pushing myself to cover the longest distance I’ll have ever attempted, and raising money for such a personal, wonderful cause.

To sponsor Debbie visit