A brave Falkirk woman who was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer three years ago will tomorrow run the Stirling Marathon for Strathcarron Hospice.
It will be Mandie Stevenson’s biggest running challenge yet, as the 26.2 mile route is more than twice the distance her doctor considered possible.
But with the support of family, friends and well-wishers the 28-year-old is determined to succeed.
It’s understood she has already raised some £3,000 for Strathcarron Hospice.
Mandie, whose determined fight against cancer has featured previously in the Falkirk Herald, originally turned to running as a way of boosting her personal fitness.
This week she said: “I enjoy my life, I’ve achieved so much, and I’ve done everything I want to do.
“I believe I’ve lived longer because I run – and now I’m running a marathon.
“I just want as normal a life as possible.
“Being busy and being normal keeps my mind off it - it is mind over matter.”
A spokesperson for Strathcarron Hospice said: “Mandie continues to defy the doctors through her running and she felt that the marathon – double the distance she has managed previously – was the next logical step.
“We all feel incredibly inspired by Mandie’s determination and positivity as she takes on this challenge as part of #teamstrathcarron , and wish her and every single member of our team the very best of luck.
Mandie said: “I did the half marathon in 2016 as a test to see how my body would cope, as my oncologist said that the most I could do was a 10k.
“I did it anyway, and I enjoyed it so much that I just set myself the challenge of doing a full marathon. “I’ve enjoyed being out training four times a week.
“The longest run I’ve done was 22 miles so I’m ready for it now.
“It’ll be tough on the day but I’m so excited!”.
She added: “It’s very close to where I live, I know I’ll get a lot of support from my friends and family as it’s not far for them to go.
“It’s a great charity to support as well.
“Raising money for Strathcarron has been in the back of my mind, and that’s kept me going when it has been hard.
“It’s a charity that everybody knows how much they are needed.
“I’ve visited there, and it’s where I want to go when the time comes.
“It feels good to do your bit for the Hospice.
“I know people who have been in there. When I was first diagnosed I was a bit afraid of it, a hospice is not a good place to be.
“I couldn’t believe it when I went round there, it’s such a nice place.”