Bedfordshire physiotherapist inspired to take on London Marathon for internet friend who lost her leg to rare cancer

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She has never run a marathon before

A Bedfordshire woman is taking on the London Marathon for a friend who lost one of her legs to a rare cancer.

Willemijn Rush, from Beckerings Park, has never run a marathon before but was inspired to take part by her friend Sarah who was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer.

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In 2022, Sarah went to see a physio due to knee and shin pain which had suddenly got worse overnight.

Willemijn is taking on the London Marathon for friend Sarah.Willemijn is taking on the London Marathon for friend Sarah.
Willemijn is taking on the London Marathon for friend Sarah.

Sarah was referred for diagnostics, when she received the devastating diagnosis of Ewing sarcoma.

Willemijn, who is a triage physiotherapist herself, said: “There is not enough awareness of cancers like sarcoma, and that is why I am running in the marathon for the cancer charity Sarcoma UK.”

The 31-year-old, who met her friend on Instagram over a shared love of pooches, explained Sarah was on a break with her dogs in Wales when she slipped and broke her knee.

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She had to be airlifted to hospital, and it was decided to amputate the leg so the cancer could not spread.

Willemijn added: “Despite her struggles, Sarah is the strongest young woman around. There’s a lot that needs adjusting for her to live comfortably at home. Life has thrown her all sorts of curve balls, but her positive attitude and care for others have never changed. Her mindset during this all really hit me hard and should be an inspiration to us all. I am beyond thrilled to say she's currently free of cancer and working really hard to get used to her prosthetic leg.”

Charity spokeswoman Kerry Reeves-Kneip, at Sarcoma UK, said: "This story highlights the power of human connection in the digital age. Despite not meeting in person, Sarah and Willemijn have found a way to support each other. Our support line is also open for those who would like to speak to our specialist support staff.

“We are enormously grateful to Willemijn for her efforts to raise money for Sarcoma UK and will be cheering her on every step of the 26-mile journey.”

To donate to Willemijn’s cause visit her fundraising page.

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