Graceful Ladies Ultra Marathon Challenge

Good friends, Amanda Aeroporos, Anne Dean, Naomi Farrar and Emma Jessop are walking The Isle of Wight Ultra Marathon on 9 May to raise funds for GRACE. This is their story.

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“We are walking to raise funds for GRACE. This charity is close to our hearts as it has supported Amanda’s mum through a long and gruelling battle with ovarian cancer, involving debulking surgery and two series of brutal chemotherapy which failed to reduce the level of cancer cells. In 2007, Amanda’s mum was transferred to The Royal Surrey County Hospital under the superb care of Simon Butler Manuel - a decision that saved her life. He re-diagnosed her and Simon along with his highly skilled team performed three more operations including much more radical debulking - removal of the gall bladder and multiple lymph nodes, with bowel and liver resections. By 2010 Amanda’s mum was back to leading a busy social life and living with cancer.

During this time Mr Butler Manuel had founded and grown GRACE, with Dame Judi Dench as its Patron. GRACE is currently involved in several projects including the investigation of chemotherapy resistant ovarian cancers. The findings of these studies feed into the wider UK network, helping to influence and shape the diagnosis and treatment of these women. GRACE has funded many other things too, including the much needed refurbishment of the Women's Centre at Crawley Hospital and has financed vital items of surgical equipment, for example, an ultrasound scanner to increase the effectiveness of brachytherapy treatment at St Luke's Cancer Centre. Furthermore, thanks to GRACE's support of the revolutionary da Vinci Robotic System, the RSCH is now a leading centre in Europe for research and training.

GRACE desperately needs funding to extend the range and depth of it’s crucial research projects. Every year in the UK, 22,000 women are diagnosed with gynaecological cancer, this is 58 women a day and of these, - 21 will die. These women are daughters, nieces, sisters, aunties, mothers, grannies and friends.

Please, please, please help GRACE to further improve gynaecological cancer care and treatment across Surrey, West Sussex and Hampshire.

If you would like to support our challenge, you can donate here.”