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22 October 2019

Cambridge United are delighted to introduce tonight’s Evad Community Hero of the Day for tonight’s fixture against Grimsby Town- Mary Twitchett, founder of “Cambridge 5k your way” running club.

Read Mary’s inspiring story here:

Mary works as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in a busy General Practice and 2018 started off as a great year for her. She competes internationally in age group duathlons and has 2 World silver medals, alongside having a marathon PB of 2 hours 42 minutes! Her love has always been running and now, with injuries behind her, 2018 was going to be very exciting.

It didn’t turn out that way and was unfortunately diagnosed with breast cancer just a few weeks after racing the Los Angeles marathon where she had won her age group by 11 minutes and was top ranked in the UK.

Mary said: “By chance, when doing some stretches I was feeling the muscles at the top of left side of chest. Then I felt a lump.”

It was cancer and having had an operation to remove it, she then received the terrible news that the cancer had not gone and chemotherapy was now recommended. 

Mary describes this: “[Despite] the challenge of chemotherapy, I was determined I would get back running. I had 5-6 hours of chemo every 3 weeks for 4 months. Typically chemo on Monday; in at 9 am, out at 3pm. You leave in a daze. But I always walked for 30 minutes after no matter how bad I felt…Exercise was my saviour. It was something I could do. Yoga was fantastic as it made me breathe well. It was my way of being mindful!”

She came through chemotheraphy and not long after decided to start “Cambridge 5k your way” last October at the newly-established Coldham’s Common parkrun.

They had about 10 people who were on a cancer journey but a big group of supporters and indeed a friend of hers that had undergone breast cancer chemotherapy/ radiotherapy 18 years ago completed the 5 km. That friend now comes every month.

In Mary’ words: “We make friends. We support. I always walk with the slowest. The stories are so powerful. A lady who lost her husband with cancer joined us. She is not alone anymore she has joined a new family.”

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