On Sunday 21 April 2024, I will be running the TCS London Marathon. This will be the toughest physical and mental challenge I’ve ever done. I will be pushing myself to my absolute limits and all in an effort to raise awareness and funds for a charity that does some amazing work and is very close to myself and my family.

Ovacome is the national UK ovarian cancer charity focused on providing support and information to anyone affected by ovarian cancer. This includes people who have either been diagnosed with the disease or think that they might be at risk, as well as their friends and family and healthcare professionals with the aim of increasing positive outcomes for those impacted.

From as young as I can remember, I was a big 'mummy's boy'. I’ve always idolised Mum and she showed our whole family unconditional love and affection every day. Throughout her life, she made incredible sacrifices to ensure our family was never without and every ounce of her energy was dedicated to supporting and raising myself and my sister, Holly, to become the young adults we are today. I am so grateful for everything Mum did for us and have come to fully appreciate her efforts in more recent years.

In December 2016, Mum was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer. Due to lack of awareness and misdiagnosis, the cancer was caught late and was manageable with treatment but ultimately incurable. The news flipped our whole family's life upside down but, and to no one's surprise, Mum was still there to steady the ship. Never once did I hear her complain or moan despite the relentless chemotherapy, operations, and regular hospital visits. As her usual selfless self, she was more concerned about the welfare of her family than herself, even in her time of need.

During her treatment, Mum received incredible support from Ovacome who helped her and our family in a variety of ways. Mum also was keen to fundraise for the charity and spent a lot of time raising awareness of Ovarian Cancer symptoms alongside Ovacome.

On 13 December 2021, almost 5 years to the day since her diagnosis, Mum passed peacefully surrounded by her family. I will forever be grateful for the memories I have with my her, particularly those in her final weeks and some of my earliest memories in my childhood. She was the most incredible person I've ever met, inside and out, and I feel incredibly grateful to be her son.

Her undying courage and strength throughout her journey was nothing short of remarkable and is definitely a huge fuel for me physically and mentally. Mum filled our whole family with a constant radiating pride and this is something I hope to honour when dedicating completing 'Europe's biggest marathon' to her.

Any donations are appreciated, big or small. Your generosity will go a long way in funding Ovacome and the amazing work they do.

This one is for you, Mum. Lewis Keates