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Daughter-in-law inspired to run London Marathon in memory of father-in-law

Jan Lowe, from Teddington, is running this year’s London Marathon for leading cancer charity, Penny Brohn UK, in memory of her father-in-law, David.

David was supported by the charity when he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in 2018. David suggested that Jan ran the marathon for Penny Brohn UK and supported her when she first started fundraising before he died on Boxing Day last Christmas.

Jan is no stranger to running, having run two half marathons and a couple of 5k and 10k races; but this is the first time she has entered a marathon. To raise sponsorship, Jan has been supported by her friends and family and is planning to organise a cake sale at work and collection outside her local Marks and Spencer.

Talking about taking on the London Marathon, Jan said: “David loved custard, rugby, skiing and above all his family. Penny Brohn UK supported David since his devastating diagnosis providing a combination of physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual support. Penny Brohn UK helped David to continue to enjoy the things that he loved. In order to support this fantastic charity I have committed to run the London Marathon. I’m going to give it my best as Penny Brohn UK did its best for David and David did his best for his family.”

Emma Gilmore, Head of Community and Challenge Events at Penny Brohn UK said: “We are delighted that Jan is running the London Marathon in aid of Penny Brohn UK and in memory of David. All the sponsorship money raised will help us support more people affected by cancer to live as well as possible for as long as possible. A big thank you and good luck to Jan!”

With nearly 40 years’ experience, Penny Brohn UK recognises that people with cancer need more than medicine. Its Bristol Whole Life Approach provides integrated whole person cancer support that works alongside medical treatment to achieve the best health and wellbeing. The approach explores areas such as diet, exercise, relationships and managing stress, through free residential and day courses, one-to-one therapies, groups and national helpline.

Jan is hoping to raise £5000 for Penny Brohn UK; to sponsor Jan visit For further information about Penny Brohn UK visit

About Penny Brohn UK (formerly Penny Brohn Cancer Care)

Penny Brohn UK is the leading charity in the UK to take an integrated and whole person approach to cancer support, recognising that people need more than medicine to live well with the disease. We see each person as a unique individual with their own set of hopes and needs – a whole person made up of mind, body, spirit and emotions. Through our free adult residential and day courses we help people to feel empowered to reclaim control of our health, to recover what it was that made them feel whole in the first place, and to rediscover the joy of living: to turn a potentially devastating diagnosis into a powerful life-changing experience.

There is more to health than simply what is going on in our bodies; to be resilient and to function as well as we can, we need to pay attention to our mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing as well as our physical health. Over 2.5 million people are living with cancer in the UK and the number is rising every year. Over 50% of people living with a cancer diagnosis have unmet holistic needs. The challenge many people face is not dying, but living well.

For almost 40 years we have been working compassionately alongside people with cancer, placing them at the heart of all we do. Our whole person approach offers personalised care from the point of a cancer diagnosis into treatment and throughout survivorship. Exploring areas like diet, exercise, emotions, relationships and managing stress, our free courses, one-to-one therapies, and group sessions, work alongside standard medical treatment to achieve the best health and wellbeing by supporting the holistic needs – psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical – of people affected by cancer.

Penny Brohn UK is a registered charity and relies on donations and public generosity to keep its services free for all who need them.

For more information call 0303 3000 118, email or visit

Cancer Facts

  • Around 352,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK annually
  • Over 2.5 million people live with or beyond cancer in the UK
  • This is expected to be 4 million by 2030, due to reasons including better diagnosis, increased life expectancy and lifestyle choices, such as smoking
  • 50% of people with cancer in England survive at least 10 years after diagnosis, estimated to be 57% by 2020. Experts believe this could be 3 in 4 people by 2034
  • 70 to 90% of cancer is due to lifestyle, such as smoking, weight, diet, alcohol, UV exposure and lack of exercise

Effects on People

  • The emotional and physical impact of cancer and its treatment can last for years
  • Around 1/4 of people with or beyond cancer face disability or poor health post-treatment
  • Almost half of people with cancer say emotional effects are hardest to cope with
  • Over 1/3 of people with cancer are anxious or depressed
  • 1 in 3 people with cancer lose £860 earnings a month because they cannot work or have to reduce hours
  • 6 of 7 people with cancer see a £270 monthly expenses increase

Penny Brohn UK Wellness Package Evaluation

In 2014, Penny Brohn UK received Department of Health (DH) funding to offer a Wellness Package to people with cancer and their close supporters.

It comprised: 60 of Penny Brohn UK flagship Living Well courses, reaching 519 people, and 12 months’ Follow Up support.

Principally results showed:

  • Concerns and wellbeing improved
  • People could better self-manage health
  • People changed how they accessed healthcare services

Impact on Concerns & Wellbeing

  • Before the course, people most concerned with psychological and emotional issues
  • 6 weeks after Living Well, concerns and wellbeing had significantly improved
  • At 12 months, concerns and wellbeing remained improved

Impact on Lifestyle

Reflecting on specific changes:

  • 84% said the course helped improve diet
  • 69% said it helped improve exercise
  • 90% said it helped improve using self-help techniques
  • 67% said it helped improve their relationships
  • 87% said they made “a few” or “lots” of positive lifestyle changes

“I’m more confident with food, cooking and menus. Have discovered fruit and yogurt smoothies, which I make every day”.

Impact on Self-management

  • At six weeks, 86% said it enabled them to self-manage their health more effectively
  • Four key themes emerged: diet, exercise, self-help techniques, and being given knowledge, skills and confidence

“The connectedness of attitudes, emotions, diet, sleep and exercise are much more obvious now. I’m empowered in a way I wasn’t”.

Impact on use of Healthcare Services

At 12 months, 45% said the Package changed how they accessed medical services

“I feel more self-aware and listen to my body, therefore I don’t rush to the GP with every ache and pain”.

For the complete snapshot or full report, visit

The Independent Cancer Taskforce

Their report Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes: A Strategy for England 2015-2020 recognises…

The importance of medical treatment alongside caring for the ‘whole person’, so suggests how non-NHS organisations can reduce pressure on the NHS. It contains:

“People require holistic support from diagnosis onwards, encompassing their physical, financial, psychosocial, and information and support needs, throughout their entire cancer journey.”

“Though more people are surviving cancer, unfortunately this often does not mean living well. People can have complex and varied needs, many of which are not being met.”

“One in four people treated for cancer live with ill-health or disability as a consequence.”

“Care should be built around what matters to the person, and individuals should feel prepared for the life consequences of their cancer and its treatment, equipped to manage their care and with control over their life as a whole.”



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