Admin assistant Sarah Markley is running her first London Marathon this April to fundraise for the Mouth Cancer Foundation in memory of her friend’s husband, Paul Beament.
Miss Markley, 41, of Curzon Close, Calne, is close friends with Mr Beament’s widow, Kezia, who lost her husband in December 2004, when he was just 34 years old.
She said before his illness she had been unaware of mouth cancer and now hoped to support her friend by raising awareness of the disease.
She said: “Paul was quite sporty and he really enjoyed cricket. He was fit and healthy. That’s why it was such a shock.
“I wanted to run for a good cause and I thought, ‘Yes, actually I would like to run for her and in memory of Paul’.”
Mr Beament, a senior IT consultant, was diagnosed with cancer after suffering pain at the back of his neck.
He had a 12-hour operation to remove half of his tongue and reconstruct it with soft tissue from his forearm.
A peg feeding tube was fitted, to provide nutrition into his stomach, and a tracheotomy to aid breathing.
After surgery and radiotherapy, he was told he was cancer free, but in July 2004 it returned and further surgery was impossible.
Miss Markley has been training for the marathon with the Calne SMaRTT club, on a 16-week programme.
She hopes Mrs Beament, who now lives in London, will be there to support her.
Mouth Cancer Foundation founder Dr Vinod Joshi said: “If you notice a lump that wasn’t there before or a mouth ulcer which lasts for more than three weeks, you should see your dentist.”
To sponsor the Marathon run, see www.justgiving.com/ Sarah-Markley1