“Fundraising and leaving a gift in my Will is so important to me”: Georgi’s story

After years of incredible fundraising, Georgi decided to leave a gift in her Will to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, so more people – like herself and her late husband Craig – can receive vital care from The Royal Marsden.

Georgi’s husband Craig was just 39 when he died in 2009, following seven years of treatment at The Royal Marsden for gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST). In January 2022, Georgi took part in the Jog 40 Miles in January challenge in his memory, and to raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

“I wanted to take part in Jog 40 Miles in January 2022 as a way of giving back to The Royal Marsden after they looked after my husband. I wanted to run in his memory and raise funds as part of his legacy. If it hadn’t been for The Royal Marsden, I wouldn’t have had all that extra time with Craig following his cancer diagnosis.” 

A married couple sitting in warm clothing, with their arms around each other
Charity supporter Georgi, with her late husband Craig.

“I was only 30 when Craig was diagnosed. He never made it to his 40th birthday and the anniversary of his death is in January, so it felt like the Jog 40 Miles in January event had been made just for me! Doing this challenge at the beginning of the year gave me something to focus on – to get out every day, get some fresh air and remember someone who was such an important part of my life.” 

Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis 

“While I was taking part in the Jog 40 Miles challenge, I noticed in the shower one day after a run that there was a change in the shape of one of my breasts. A week or so later I was at the hospital and having a mammogram, scans and a biopsy. In February I got my diagnosis – invasive ductal carcinoma (breast cancer).” 

“Getting that diagnosis and hearing the ‘c’ word felt devastating. It’s a very difficult word to try and digest. The worst thing for me was thinking about my two children as they’d already lost their dad to cancer. It was so hard having the conversation with my family to tell them this news.” 

Headshot of a woman in a sweat band and wearing a bright orange Royal Marsden Cancer Charity shirt

“It’s really important to raise awareness of cancer symptoms so people know what changes to look for in their body. My oncologist told me that most people with my type of breast cancer wouldn’t have noticed their symptoms for two years – because I had no lump, it was just a change in the shape of my breast. If I hadn’t have been doing the Jog 40 challenge and checking myself after runs – I might not have noticed until things had progressed further.”

Georgi’s treatment  

“Since my diagnosis, I have had two lots of surgery and intense radiotherapy. I had a lumpectomy first but my margins were still not clear after this, so I went back a second time for more surgery. I managed about five months of Tamoxifen – a hormone therapy drug – after the radiotherapy. However for me, the side effects were bad so I had to come off this treatment – with a plan to maybe revisit going back on it in the future. Everything is looking good at the moment and I’m feeling well!” 

“I’m really passionate about fundraising” 

“It was an absolute no brainer to take part in the Jog 40 Miles challenge again – with a slightly different focus after what I’d been through over the year. I really want to support the breast cancer community, which includes raising awareness of the work The Royal Marsden does.”

“I also decided to take on a crazy 250-mile solo hike around Devon and Cornwall. I wanted to challenge myself to do something that was out of my comfort zone. Despite the awful weather and miles of mud, I absolutely loved every moment!”

Headshot of a person in the hilly countryside, smiling and wearing a Royal Marsden Cancer Charity branded vest.

"Despite the awful weather and miles of mud, I absolutely loved every moment! My life has been impacted heavily by cancer and, despite the hard times, giving back is vital. I’m really passionate about fundraising and especially raising money for research. It gave us extra time as a family, and if the funds I raise can help other cancer patients and their families in the future – I’ll be happy with this. That’s also why I decided to leave a gift in my Will.” 

Leaving a legacy gift to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity 

“Leaving a gift in my Will is so important to me: to know that I am leaving a small sum to go towards the continued work of The Royal Marsden. It’s such an important cause to me. I think people presume the gift needs to be substantial but in reality, any size gift will go on to make a big difference.” 

Give back to the future  

By leaving a gift in your Will, you will help make a very real difference to the lives of people touched by cancer, long into the future. 

Writing or updating your Will couldn’t be easier – find out more with our Free Will Service.

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