Why we march- Laura

Since the Banham Marsden March began in 2011, 45,000 walkers have taken part, raising over £13 million for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

Laura with her medal

For our supporters the march is a chance to celebrate milestones in their recovery, the recovery of friends and family and a chance to give back. We’ve caught up with Laura who, in 2020, will be celebrating taking part in every march since we’ve begun! Laura is 35 years old and was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia when she was in her twenties. Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a type of blood cancer that starts from young white blood cells in the bone marrow. 

“I will always feel a great sense of gratitude towards The Royal Marsden. Both my Grandad and I have received first class treatment from this brilliant hospital. I will never forget how The Royal Marsden supported me through treatment for AML and saved my life. Ever since my treatment, almost 12 years ago, I have felt a strong desire to help by giving something back to this amazing hospital via The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

My mum, my dad and myself have completed all of the walks, often in fancy dress. We love taking part and look forward to continuing to support the outstanding work of The Royal Marsden - real life superheroes!”

Laura and friends at the march

Laura’s favourite march

It is very hard to pick one moment as they have all been memorable. I think it has to be finishing on the road coming into the Royal Marsden at Sutton each year with my mum and dad, who have been with me every step of the way, looking up at the window of the hospital room I was first in when receiving treatment, and being thankful for all the care, support how far I have come; that I can now help others who are in the same position I was in.

Tips for new marchers

Enjoy walking regularly, in a variety of places to build stamina and a love of walking. We do walks regularly in Bushy Park, Richmond Park and Hampton Court.

Fundraising ideas

I would say consider doing the walk in fancy dress. Sponsors enjoy seeing the different costumes I have worn, including a superhero, riding a dinosaur, a lion and Tigger! It all adds to the fun atmosphere on the day as well.

I can’t wait to cross the finish line on my 10th Banham Marsden March! For us, it will feel as good as ever! A great sense of pride in still being able to unite, contribute and support this wonderful cause. The Banham Marsden March is an amazing event with a wonderful atmosphere; such a sense of positivity, care and unity.

Laura