A GP is running the London Marathon to raise money for an ovarian cancer charity after her mother was diagnosed with the condition.
Dr Victoria Barber, who is a GP at Parklands Surgery in Rushden, also wants to raise awareness of ovarian cancer.
March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and she is urging women to be aware of the warning signs, which include persistent pelvic and abdominal pain, persistent bloating, difficulty eating and urinary symptoms.
She said: “Through my mother I have got involved with helping target ovarian cancer, and I have been raising awareness among other GPs. I have also done podcasts for the British Medical Journal.
“There is an urgent need to make progress – 6,500 women are diagnosed each year and sadly 4,400 women lose their lives each year.
“The UK has among the lowest survival rates in Europe. There have been no new life-extending treatments in more than 20 years.
“If we were able to achieve what has been achieved in breast cancer in the last 20 years, more than 3,000 women would survive each year.”
Dr Barber has been overwhelmed by the amount of support that she’s received from her patients, who have been keen to sponsor her fundraising effort in aid of the national ovarian cancer charity Target Ovarian Cancer.
With just over six weeks to go until the marathon on April 22, she’s busy preparing for the event – which will be her first ever marathon.
Her mum Val Barber, of Geddington, was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer in 2008 and has had courses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy over the past three years.
Mrs Barber has already raised £2,000 for the charity through cakes sales and a garden party.
She said: “The more money we can raise, the more advice leaflets we can print.
“We need to catch women earlier with a diagnoses, so that they have got a hope of surviving.
“Everyone thinks ovarian cancer only affects older women, but that’s not always the case.”
Donations can also be made by texting VBOC99 to 70070.