Marathon mum runs to remember family lost to cancer

Lindsey Merritt-Dunn is taking part in the London Marathon this April, in memory of her father and g

Lindsey Merritt-Dunn is taking part in the London Marathon this April, in memory of her father and grandfather, whom she lost to cancer. - Credit: Archant

A 28-year-old mum who hates running will be taking part in the London Marathon to make life easier for cancer sufferers and their families.

Lindsey lost her 57-year-old dad, Ian Merritt, to pancreatic cancer in 2013. The week after he was diagnosed, her grandfather, Richard Merritt, found out he had prostate cancer. Lindsey’s aunt, who was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer and given six months to live two and a half years ago, is still alive - but the cancer is progressing.

“I got to the point where you are dealing with the grief, either you drop into a dark hole or find something positive to focus on,” said Lindsey, who signed up with her husband Alec to run the Birmingham half marathon last year.

“I absolutely hate running - but if I enjoyed it then it wouldn’t be a challenge,” said Lindsey, who lives on St Johns Close with her husband Alec and their seven-year-old son James.

Despite hurting her glutes in the half marathon and taking on the Tough Mudder challenge just a week later – a famously difficult 12 mile long obstacle course – Lindsey decided she would complete the ultimate 26 mile endurance feat this April.

“I lost my grandfather last February. It’s very frustrating because you can’t do anything to help that person – so you try and create something positive so you can help another family not go through that, or at least make their experience a bit more positive,” she said.

“We are quite a small family so it made a massive impact on our family.

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“Before he moved to Colchester, my dad used to be a caretaker for a few years at Saffron Walden County High. He did a Friday club for teenagers, as well as volunteering with tea and coffee on the common.

“His loss has put a massive strain on us,” she added.

Lindsey, who grew up in the town and now works as a residential property paralegal in Cambridge, is aiming to raise £2,100 for Cancer Research and run the marathon in around five and a half hours.

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