Bo'ness cancer survivor runs Edinburgh Marathon to raise cash for Beatson Centre that saved her life

A Bo’ness woman who only last year was given the all clear from cancer has raised funds for the hospital that treated her by running the Edinburgh Marathon.

By Kevin Quinn
Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 9:20 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 9:55 am

Kelly McGowan (39), who works in healthcare for Linlithgow Group Practice, has raised £2,000 for the The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre by completing the 26.2 mile run last weekend in five and a half hours.

Kelly was diagnosed with cervical cancer in August 2020. She finished her treatment in January 2021 and got the all clear in May the same year. Speaking about the cancer charity, Kelly said: “They basically saved my life, I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for them.

"So I thought ‘what’s one day doing 26.2 miles to be here living?’

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Cancer survivor Kelly McGowan from Bo'ness, pictured with her family after completing the Edinburgh Marathon.

"It was a scary time, getting diagnosed during lockdown. The smear test came back to show abnormal cells, the HPV virus. But luckily for me it was discovered quickly.

"I’m quite a positive person and I think with the environment I work in, where I took blood from people going through chemo, I didn’t get too worried and just thought ‘I will take this on head-on!’

"They discovered the tumour was bigger than anticipated, six centimetres. But after that I had three lots of chemo before December, after which the scan showed shrinkage, which was good.

"And then into January I had five weeks of intense radiotherapy every day at the Beatson.

"Thankfully, after waiting for three months, I got the all clear in May. That was when I thought that I have to give something back and knew I had a year to prepare for the Edinburgh Marathon.”

Kelly is delighted to have raised so much money for the Beatson. She said: “Everyone has been so generous and supportive. My target was £1,000 and I’m now over double that, which is incredible.

"Everyone at the Beatson is so nice, and they are delighted with my fundraising efforts. I’m just so grateful to still be here, so I can’t complain about running a marathon!

"My story just hopefully shows other people that getting cancer is not necessarily a death sentence. With all the treatments and consultants these days it’s just amazing what they can do.

"The staff at the Beatson are just amazing, and I just have to give a special mention to my consultant Dr Sadozye.”