Run EMF 2019 with Teenage Cancer Trust and help teens like Natasha living with Cancer


In January 2017 Natasha from Glasgow received the devastating diagnosis that she had Hodgkin Lymphoma in her spleen, aged just 16.

“When the consultant told me it was Hodgkin Lymphoma I didn’t know what that was. It wasn’t until she said the word cancer that it hit me. I couldn’t see for tears and I shut off at that moment. I just zoned out” Natasha explained.

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. Around 1,700 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in the UK each year. It is most common in people who are 20 to 34 years old or over 70 years old.

Hodgkin lymphoma usually starts in the lymph nodes in the neck. Often several areas of lymph nodes around the body are affected. Sometimes organs such as the spleen, bone marrow or liver are affected too.

After discovering cancer was confined to her spleen Natasha began six months of chemotherapy at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow and had to take a six month break from school whilst undergoing her treatment and postpone her preliminary exams.

“I knew there was no way I could concentrate on exams while thinking about what was to come next. I was really scared before my first session of chemotherapy as I was expecting the worst. The nurses were amazing and were a big part of my life. I knew them all on a first name basis and they talked to me and made me laugh during a very difficult time”.

Around seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. They need expert treatment and support from the moment they hear the word ‘cancer.’  

“Some of my friends didn’t know how to react when I told them I had cancer, so it was nice for me to be able to go through to the Teenage Cancer Trust Unit at the hospital and meet people who understood what I was going through and to hear their experiences. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone”.

Teenage Cancer Trust are the only UK charity that provides specialised nursing care to young people with cancer. Their 28 specialist units within NHS hospitals bring young people together, to be treated by teenage cancer experts in a place designed just for them.

Natasha received one-to-one support from Ronan, Teenage Cancer Trust’s Youth Support Coordinator within the hospital.

“Ronan was also there for patients who were feeling down and wanted to talk to him. He often organised activities and day trips which helped keep our minds off what was happening. There is also a big cinema screen, cinema chairs, a pool table on the unit, along with a kitchen where you can heat up your own food, so you didn’t have to have hospital food.”

Right now Teenage Cancer Trust can only support half of the teenagers who are in desperate need of their support.

Run with #TeamLegend at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival in 2019 and help Teenage Cancer Trust provide more and more young people with the specialised cancer nursing and emotional support they need.

Second only to London in terms of size in the UK, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival has nine races on offer, guaranteeing there is something for everyone from the seasoned runner to children just starting out on their running journey. The fun kicks off on Saturday 25th May at Holyrood Park with a 10K, 5K and four junior races. On Sunday 26th May the Edinburgh Marathon, Edinburgh Half Marathon and Team Relay start from the heart of Edinburgh City as runners embark on new city centre route launched in 2018.

At her mid-treatment review, Natasha received the incredible news that she didn’t require radiation as her initial chemotherapy treatment had been a success.

“Beating cancer was my proudest moment. Having had cancer has given me a new perspective on things as when you get that diagnosis you realise you aren’t immortal and you won’t live forever. I have been given a second chance at life and I am making the most of it. I’m back at school and enjoy spending time with my friends and being a normal teenager again.”

To find out more about Teenage Cancer Trust and the services they provide to teens click here.

Click here to join #TeamLegend at The Edinburgh Marathon Festival.

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Mum Shirley gets set for EMF 5k with help from pony pal Winnie
A young mum who was left temporarily paralysed is set to take part in the
Edinburgh Marathon Festival 5k to raise funds for MS Society Scotland.

Shirley Reise was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2017 after becoming
unable to move from the chest down and experiencing loss of vision.

But less than a year on, and with the help of friends, family and one very special pony, the 33-year- old is raising funds for MS Society Scotland by taking on the EMF 5K this May.

Shirley who works in Fife Council’s Supported Employment Service, said:
“Experiencing paralysis from the chest down and blindness was one of the most
scary and overwhelming experiences of my life. If someone told me that I would be running a 5k nearly a year to the date of diagnosis, I would never have believed it. Going from being in a wheelchair to wearing my trainers and running is unbelievable.”

Shirley, who is mum to Joseph, stuck up an everlasting friendship with her son’s
chestnut Shetland pony Winnie as she began her recovery as well as dealing
with her diagnosis.

Shirley who lives in Pitlessie, Fife, said: “My family and friends would carry me
into the field and let me sit in peace with my horses. Winnie would stand beside
me for hours, grazing and being happy to let me groom her and teach her tricks.

“I developed a special bond with her and she comes for walks with me and my
dogs to get fit in preparation for EMF. Winnie was bought for my son but she has blessed our family in so many ways. Although my son has nearly outgrown her, she has earned her keep for life with us.”

As Shirley looked ahead to see what she could do to support others living with
the neurological condition which affects more than 11,000 people in Scotland,
she decided to look at MS Society Scotland’s fundraising events. And she was
overwhelmed when her colleagues at Fife Council decided to get behind her
upcoming EMF 5k.

Shirley said: “The team surprised me with a box. I opened it to find a stack of
registration papers for each of the team to participate with me and help me get
over the finish line. “I have been blessed with the greatest of colleagues and management within my team. They have been exemplary in the whole concept of ‘practicing what we preach’. I belong to the Supported Employment Service of Fife Council and we help those with health conditions and disabilities obtain employment. Part of what we do also includes the provision of a retention service to those who find themselves developing a health condition or disability whilst in work and finding ways via reasonable adjustments to help people stay in their employment. My team have been an exceptional display of how this ought to be done.

She added: “I have gone from a busy mum, working full time, riding my horse
and being very independent to entirely incapacitated then full circle again.
“The MS Society provided me with a wealth of knowledge and supportive
resources, and I want to raise money for them to do the same for someone else. It’s not just fundraising, it’s literally life changing.”  

Gemma Cowan, Fundraising Events Manager for MS Society Scotland said: “We
are delighted that Shirley is taking part in this amazing challenge to raise funds
for people affected by MS.

“Shirley’s story is extremely inspiring and we were thrilled to also meet her
fantastic companion Winnie. Together they make an incredible team and the
bond between Shirley and Winnie is wonderful.

“As well as this, we were touched to hear about the fantastic support Shirley has received from her colleagues and we are so excited to have them in our MS
Superstars team this year. Fundraisers like Shirley and her team help support
the MS Society to drive research into more – and better treatments for

MS is unpredictable, different for everyone and can affect how a person thinks,
feels and moves. The MS Society also provide a free confidential helpline on
0808 800 8000 which offers information and support on everything from being
newly diagnosed to treatment options.

For more information on the work of the MS Society, please visit

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Daughter to run in her father’s footsteps at the Edinburgh Marathon
Charlotte’s dad was the reason she started running. His military training made him the perfect coach and running buddy – always there to give her the support and encouragement she needed for her next race. In June last year, Charlotte’s dad found out he had terminal cancer. Four months later he passed away. 

“He was my absolute hero and my best friend. I knew I had to do this for him. From the day he got the diagnosis, Macmillan nurses were there for him. Their help and support meant so much to my dad and the whole family. 

“Before he passed away, I told him I was going to run the Edinburgh Marathon for Macmillan – a route he loved and had run many times. He was so pleased for me but I could see in his eyes that deep down he wished he could be running it alongside me.

“He may not be here to join me in his trainers on the start line but I still feel he’ll be running it with me, and I hope I make him proud.”

Join Charlotte by signing up to run Edinburgh with Team Macmillan today. 

Second only to London in terms of size in the UK, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival has nine races on offer, guaranteeing there is something for everyone from the seasoned runner to kids just starting out on their running journey. The fun kicks off on Saturday 26th May at Holyrood Park with a 10k, 5K and four junior races. On Sunday 27th May the Edinburgh Marathon, Edinburgh Half Marathon and Team Relay start from the heart of Edinburgh City as runners embark on the new route for the first time ever.

For more information, visit

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Paul Brown
Local hero running 500 miles in 5 weeks for SANDS Lothians

Local hero running 500 miles in 5 weeks for SANDS Lothians

Paul Brown, a local community hero from West Lothian, has set his biggest and most gruelling fundraising challenge yet – running 500 miles in 5 weeks for local charity, SANDS Lothians.

Paul will be running every day of the week, morning and night for 5 weeks. His challenge will culminate in completing the 5k, 10k, half and full marathon at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. All money raised will support the vital work of SANDS Lothians, a charity that looks after families whose baby has died in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Paul is well known for his amazing fundraising efforts, having raised £5,500 for various charities and local groups by taking part in over 10 marathons, including the Seven in Seven Days challenge in 2016, three ultra-marathons, swims and an Ironman event. For all his fundraising last year, he has recently been voted the “West Lothian Courier and The Centre Local Hero”. When he is not running, Paul works as Commercial Insurance Broker and in his spare time, is a personal trainer to help people who are looking to get in shape.

The ‘500 miles for SANDS’ challenge will start in the last week of April and end at the marathon finish line at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival on Sunday 28th May. If you would like to support him, you can do this on his JustGiving page.

In 2016, Paul was first motivated to support SANDS Lothians, alongside other local charities and groups, when he completed the Seven in Seven Days marathon challenge. Although not having direct experience of baby loss, throughout the year he had continued to be moved by the stories of the families the charity support. He was especially touched by Nicky Reynolds’ story of her beautiful baby boy, Ramsay. Ramsay was tragically born sleeping on the 12th February 2015, because of complications with blood vessels in the umbilical cord, a condition called ’Vasa Praevia’. SANDS Lothians supported Nicky and she kindly shared her story and pictures of her precious Ramsay, which inspired Paul to create this new challenge for 2017.

Paul said, “I want the families supported by SANDS Lothians to know that although I am not someone that has been through what they have – I have been touched by the things that I have read and the photos I have seen. So, I thought why not challenge myself and raise money for a good cause – even if it means getting a few blisters, it’s worth it.” Nicky Reynolds, Ramsay’s mother explained, “The physically demanding challenges Paul has completed in the past, and the one he is now undertaking on behalf of Sands Lothians, are all amazing feats by anyone’s standards. What makes it even more special, is the fact that Paul has been so touched by the stories of our precious babies – in particular my beloved baby boy Ramsay. It brings some small comfort, that through death, my little boy can make a difference to other bereaved families, and help raise awareness of the wonderful work Sands Lothians does Work that is utterly priceless, but also vital in providing initial and ongoing support to families facing their worst nightmare.”

Nicola Welsh, SANDS Lothians’ Chief Executive stated, “We are thrilled that Paul has decided to support us again this year with such an awe-inspiring challenge. We have been touched by his passion and determination to raise money and awareness for the families that we support. Paul will always be our hero and we look forward to celebrating his 500th mile at the finish line of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival!”

The Edinburgh Marathon Festival is the biggest sports event of the year for SANDS Lothians and they still need a few more runners to get involved. Email [email protected] for more information. For further information: Angie Alexander, Fundraising Manager 0131 622 6263 / [email protected]

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