Wallasey family takes on London Marathon to support local cancer research

A family from Wallasey are preparing to take on their first London Marathon together in aid of life-saving cancer research and education from North West Cancer Research.

50-year-old Julie Woolley, who works as an events assistant for the charity, will be joined by her husband Alan, 48, and their daughter Katrina, 22, to complete the iconic course on Sunday, 21 April, inspired by the cancer battles of family and friends.

Alan’s mum, Mary, was diagnosed with lung cancer in both 2015 and 2017 and underwent two operations and a course of chemotherapy before being given the all clear. Sadly, they have also lost Ann, a close member of their extended family, to cancer recently.

Support has flooded in for the trio from friends, colleagues and family, including the couple’s two other daughters Kyra and Anya, and they’re well on their way to reaching their combined £6,000 target.

The family have been following personalized training programmes to prepare for the big day, and spurring one another on along the way.

Julie said of the upcoming challenge, “After we lost a very special member of our extended family last year, I decided to push myself to complete a difficult challenge in hopes that the funds I raise will help prevent other families from having to experience more loss from this awful disease.

“In terms of training, the transition from leisurely Saturday morning jogs to 3-4 runs weekly with incremental distance increases has been a bit of a shock, but if it means we get past that finish line it will all be worth it.”

Alan added, “We all have been, or will be, impacted by cancer in our lifetime and seeing family and friends battle the disease is heart breaking. My own mum is a cancer survivor, thanks to critical research and development – the likes of which are funded by North West Cancer Research.

“As for the Marathon, I’m really looking forward to the atmosphere and running alongside my family. It’ll be fantastic to see Julie and Katrina complete a challenge they’ve always wanted to do.”

Alastair Richards, CEO of North West Cancer Research, said, “We’re extremely grateful to the Woolley family for thinking of us and recognising the advancements in treatment that our research has helped support. It’s great to see a family taking on the challenge together, to motivate one another and celebrate together once they pass that finish line. We’ll be cheering them on during the Marathon as they raise much needed funds for cancer research right here in the North West.

North West Cancer Research is an independent charity dedicated to putting the region’s cancer needs first by funding life-saving research and education to tackle the cause, improve the care and find the cure for cancer.

You can support the family on their fundraising pages at:




North West Cancer Research is an independent charity, dedicated to putting the region’s cancer needs first by funding life-saving research and education to tackle the cause, improve the care and find the cure for cancer.

Since 2000, North West Cancer Research has funded more than £50 million of world-class research, addressing cancer inequalities and championing the region’s research community to pave the way for a cancer-free future.

Why not follow birkenhead.news on Facebook, Twitter, and Threads? You can also send story ideas or letters to the editor to news@birkenhead.news