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Man running London Marathon in support of hospice who cared for his mum

Kieran Kavanagh is running the Marathon on Sunday (Credit: Saint Francis Hospice)

A man is running the London Marathon in support of Saint Francis Hospice who cared for his mum before she passed away.

Kieran Kavanagh, 39, will be running the event on Sunday, joining thousands of other eager runners, world class athletes and celebrities.

Kieran’s mum, Jean Kavanagh, from Romford, was looked after at the hospice in 2018 after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

Jean was only 43 years old when she was initially diagnosed with breast cancer – the first of several cancer diagnoses.

“For the next thirty-five years, Mum had cancer on and off,” recalled Kieran.

“Cancer is something I always remember being in our lives since I was five years old.”

After surgery, breast cancer returned, followed by a tumour in Jean’s bowel.

When cancer reached other parts of her body, Jean received a terminal diagnosis – after over three decades of countless operations and rounds of treatment.

The Kavanagh family were suddenly plunged into caring for her at home. Kieran remembers having to carry his mum around the house – and helping her to eat and get dressed.

“Mum always had hope, and her sense of humour got her through all those years,” Kieran explained.

Kieran Kavanagh and his mum, Jean

Jean came to Saint Francis Hospice in 2018.

“We practically lived at the Hospice for 14 days,” Kieran recollected. “The nurses did everything they could for her – and us.”

“The Kavanagh’s like to go in mob-handed!” joked Kieran’s wife, Laura. “Sometimes, there were 20 relatives around Jean’s bedside, but the nurses never made us feel that we were in the way or had to leave her.”

Jean passed away peacefully, aged 76, surrounded by her loved ones.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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