“Half the village came to support as we crossed the Banham Marsden March finish line”

Read more about team ‘Booby Babes’, made up of Jane and her two friends from home, who have all been treated for breast cancer at The Royal Marsden.

65-year-old Jane has been a regular Banham Marsden Marcher. She was treated at The Royal Marsden after being diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2019. In the last three years, Jane has had a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy and will likely remain on hormone treatment for the rest of her life.  

“I think The Banham Marsden March is a brilliant event. I’ve got so many strong connections to The Royal Marsden in Sutton which is where I’ve been treated, so it’s really special to cross the finish line right outside the hospital.”  

“I lost my best friend about six years ago to cancer and she was also treated at The Royal Marsden. We decided to take part in the Banham Marsden March for the first time after she died, in her memory. Our team included her husband and son (my godson) and her niece and nephew.” 

A group of four people with their arms around each other and smiling in Banham Marsden March t-shirts.
Royal Marsden patient Jane (in the middle with the yellow jacket) with family and friends at the Banham Marsden march

“We were absolutely blown away by the big party that happens at the finish line! It was such an amazing atmosphere. The big stage with music and dancers, it’s worth doing the event again just to experience this!” 

Marching with team ‘Booby Babes’ 

“In the village where I live, I’ve got a couple of friends who have been breast cancer patients at The Royal Marsden – Jen and Lizzie. Both of them over the years have supported me through my diagnosis and treatment. We took part in The Banham Marsden March in 2023 and named our team the ‘Booby Babes’!"

Three women smiling and holding their breasts
Banham Marsden March team 'Booby Babes': Liz, Jane and Jen

"We want to do anything we can to help The Royal Marsden after they’ve looked after all three of us. Jen was one of the first people I told about my diagnosis. She was so helpful and supportive – she had breast cancer 10 years ago. Lizzie has just finished her chemotherapy treatment.” 

Two people in Banham Marsden march t-shirts and hats pointing to a sign that says 'mile 7' on a sunny day down a residential road in London
Team Booby Babes at Banham Marsden march 2023

“Half the village came to support our team as we crossed the finish line. I just loved the atmosphere. When you see everyone in their Charity t-shirts and some with photos and messages about who they’re walking for, it’s really special and actually it feels very cathartic. It’s lovely to be with people who just get it – they might have lost somebody to cancer or they might be going through treatment themselves. You don’t feel alone when you’re part of the Marsden March, you feel like you’re in a community of like-minded people who are all going through similar experiences, people you can relate to.” 

Other fundraising ventures  

“While I was going through treatment, my husband and his friends did a fundraiser for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and I went to meet them at the pub afterwards to see how much they’d raised – which was about £400."

Two people sitting down in a busy pub, smiling and holding up glasses of wine

"Lots of people heard I was in the pub so, what felt like the entire village, came to see me! It ended up being a fundraiser bonanza night with everyone coming out to support me and we raised around £3,000 by the end of the evening! I never knew how many people cared about me until this moment, it was an amazing feeling to have so much support and see this amount being raised for The Royal Marsden.”

“The Royal Marsden are truly amazing.”

"The hospital is so patient-focused. When I went in for treatment, I used to find it a calm place, somewhere I could collect my thoughts. The staff are all so lovely, especially on the Medical Day Unit (MDU). There was one member of staff, Andy, that really stood out, who moved to MDU from another area of the hospital – he always went above and beyond. I asked him for an orange during one of my treatment days and he bought one back which was all peeled, on a plate in a sunshine pattern! I told my husband and said now that is how you look after somebody. That is the kind of staff and care that you only get at The Royal Marsden, nothing is too much trouble for anyone looking after you. In my view, this hospital should be used as an example to every other hospital for how to give patient led care. They always put the patient first.” 
 

The Banham Marsden March 2024 

Jane has signed up again to take part in 2024: “This year I’m organising a different team with a friend of mine, Hazel, and we are called ‘The Sporty Boobies’ as it will be mainly people from my village pub, The Sportsman. The other Booby Babes are organising their own teams as it seems we inspired a few people in their families last year.” 
 
If you're inspired by Jane's story, find out more about The Banham Marsden March

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