Brave Katie To Run Half Marathon In Memory Of Husband

Great Comeback 1

Places for the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run Half Marathon are limited. Entries close on 6 March.

Enter now to be a part of a great weekend of running in the city: Greatrun.org/Manchester

A woman who lost her husband to cancer at just 37-years-old will take on her very first half marathon to raise awareness about the disease that claimed his life.

Katie Brennan, from Denton in Greater Manchester, lost her husband Chris in October 2015 after he bravely fought an eight year battle against kidney cancer.

Katie will be fundraising for The Christie, after they provided Chris with free treatment and access to the most up-to-date drugs available to fight his illness, to allow him an extra five years with his family.

Since her husband's passing, Katie took up running as a way to clear her head and decided that she wanted to give something back to the charity that supported their family.

She will take to the streets of Manchester for the very first Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run Half Marathon when it comes to the city on Sunday 28 May.

Katie 38 said “Chris was first diagnosed with Kidney cancer in 2007 at just 29 years of age and a week after our daughter Ella's first birthday.

“Thanks to the amazing work of surgeons at Manchester Royal Infirmary, who quickly took action to remove his diseased Kidney, the prognosis was positive and life returned to semi-normality.

“Unfortunately in 2010 we had the news that no-one wants to hear, the disease had spread to his liver. Again, surgeons stepped in to remove the disease, but complete removal was not possible.

“Without the Christie this would have been the end of our journey, but thanks to new targeted oral Chemotherapy drugs, there were options available and he was able to live a relatively normal life and return to work.

“Chris would have scans every three months and every time the scan showed a deterioration, another new miracle drug had become available, we thought he would go on forever.

“The reality is although the treatment is fantastic and new innovations are being made all the time, there is still not a cure for every cancer, especially not the rare types like Chris had, and our time ran out.

“In March 2015, he was given six months to live."

Despite this news, Chris decided that he wasn't ready to give up and volunteered for a clinical drugs trial.

The chance of success was slim, and the trial was fairly invasive, involving stays in hospital as well as weekly tests, but for him the choice was simple.

Katie added: “Even if it didn't help him, then one day it would help someone else as he had been helped for the past 5 years.

“For Chris the trial didn't work, but his contribution to it allowed the trial to progress to the next level, and maybe one day will help to save lives.

“He became increasing poorly during this time and the treatment he received was second to none, not to mention the support we received as a family unit."

Tragically Chris, a young father to the couple's then 8-year-old daughter Ella, passed away at Willow Wood Hospice in Tameside on 2 October 2015, surrounded by his family.

Katie struggled to come to terms with losing Chris and took up running to have something to focus on.

She then decided that she wanted to give something back to the charities that had supported the family and signed up for her first ever half marathon.

Katie will join thousands of others for the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run Half Marathon, the newest half marathon to come to the city.

The route will pass by two of the world's most iconic football grounds as well as the Imperial War Museum and Albert Square.

Runners will clock up over 200,000 miles on the city's streets with 30,000 others taking part in the traditional Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run 10k event on the same day.

Katie, who works as a yoga instructor, added: “Coming to terms with losing Chris was very hard and I decided to start running as a way of clearing my head.

“I was never a huge fan of running but it really helped give me something to focus on after Chris passed away.

“After running 10k, I decided to sign up to the half marathon distance as my next challenge.

“It has been really tough getting myself motivated but when I am running and I find it hard, I think that this is nothing compared to what Chris went through and what others continue to go through.

“If it was not for The Christie's amazing efforts, Chris may only have been given six months to live back in 2010.

“Chris was extremely brave and selfless in volunteering for the trial when he knew that it may not help him, but it may benefit someone else in the future.

“He gave his precious last time to make a difference and I owe it to him to help in the only way I can, by raising money to help fund this type of research.”

Support Katie's fundraising in memory of Chris here.

Places for the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run Half Marathon are limited. Entries close on 6 March.

Enter now to be a part of a great weekend of running in the city: Greatrun.org/Manchester