Charley Belachsen, from Bransgore in the New Forest, has dedicated her career to caring for sick and injured animals as a physiotherapist at Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists, near Winchester.
However, two years ago it was Charley who needed looking after as she battled skin cancer and the 33-year-old says Macmillan were there for her every step of the way.
Charley explained: “I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in August 2020 and it was the scariest time of my life.
“I needed to have surgery to remove the mole and then a second big operation to take out as much tissue as possible, so I had the best chance of removing all the cancer.
“I also had to have a lymph node biopsy so we could check the cancer hadn’t spread.
“Waiting for my results was terrifying and Macmillan supported me the whole way through.
“I had so many questions about chemotherapy, pregnancy after chemotherapy and what my chances of survival were.
“Now, I want to raise money for Macmillan so they can continue to support other people with cancer in the same amazing way that they supported me.”
It’s not the first time Charley has run a marathon for Macmillan Cancer Support. The year before she was diagnosed, she raised £1,000 for them after running the 2019 Bournemouth Marathon.
She revealed: “It was shortly after running the Bournemouth Marathon that I was diagnosed with skin cancer, so it was ironic I then needed help from the very charity for which I had just raised the money.”
This time, Charley’s looking to raise more than £2,500 and is certainly taking the challenge seriously.
She said: “I am currently undergoing a 20-week training plan which involves running four times per week and a strength training session once a week.
“The running sessions include short speed runs, hill work and one long run which will increase in distance each week.
“I usually eat a balanced diet anyway but I have now increased my protein and carbohydrate intake so I am giving my body the correct amount of fuel and me the best chance to run well.
“My previous marathon time was 4 hours 15 minutes and this time I will be aiming for a sub four-hour run but, most importantly, my aim is to raise as much money as I can for such an amazing charity.”
If you’d like to donate to Charley’s fund-raising visit her JustGiving page.
If you’d like to know more about Charley’s veterinary physiotherapy work at Linnaeus-owned Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists, visit their website.