Woman runs London Marathon to fundraise for cancer centre that gave dad extra years of life

Thursday 4 May 2023

Naomi Ashley-Thorne running in the London Marathon. She wears a blue cap, blue t-shirt and cropped blue leggings. In the background there are runners, spectators and houses.

Naomi Ashley-Thorne runs in the London Marathon

A mother of two has run her first London Marathon to raise funds for the cancer unit that helped her father beat prostate cancer five years ago.

Naomi Ashley-Thorne, 46, says that the life-saving treatment and after care her father, Ted Thorne, 78, received at Guy’s Cancer Centre has given her sons, Edmund, 11 and Rufus, 10, the gift of more time with their grandfather. 
Since then Ted and his family have benefited from a support group for men living with the condition and their loved ones, which is supported by Guy’s Cancer Charity. The charity-funded support network offers exercise classes, webinars and a walking group where people meet to talk and support each other while visiting local areas like Beckenham Place Park.

Naomi, a counsellor at St Olave’s Grammar School in Orpington, said: “For me it’s not just the practical medical help that dad receives from Guy’s, it’s the mental health side of things that has been so invaluable. 

“This support group also includes partners which has been a lifeline for my mum, Susie, extending the pastoral support for all the families living with cancer. 

“Dad has managed to beat cancer and he is so grateful to have had five more years with his grandchildren. He sees my boys as the boys he never had as I am an only child. They are his main focus. He has managed to see them grow up. On a daily basis, he says, ‘I’m still here to be able to enjoy that.’”

Ted, who has appeared in advertising campaigns for Guy’s Cancer Charity including on buses and at London Bridge station, said: “When they told me I had prostate cancer my immediate reaction was, “Well, you had better take it out because I want to see my grandchildren grow up!” The team at Guy’s have looked after me so well. They have made me feel secure and I have trust and confidence in what they are doing for me. They are just amazing. 
“Naomi has found that in looking after me, Guy’s Cancer Centre and the charity are looking after my wife Susie too, and our family has been kept going by that. I am so proud of her. The fundraising she is doing is to thank them for what they have done for all of us.”

Naomi, who only started running two years ago and also hopes to take part in a triathlon at some point, has been preparing for the marathon by doing circuit training, weight lifting, cross fit and running on average 18 miles. 

Naomi said: “I’m running so that more people can get the wraparound care to support them through their cancer journey. From diagnosis to medical care and through whatever happens afterwards.”

To support Naomi’s fundraising for Guy’s Cancer Charity visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/naomi-ashley-thorne

Last updated: May 2023

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