Doctor takes on marathon run for breast cancer research
Dr Kavita Dhingra was inspired to run the London Marathon back in 2013 to thank the hospital for its support in the early years of her career. She worked at Guy’s and St Thomas’ as a junior doctor in the paediatrics department from 1999 to 2001 and remembers it as being like a family.
Kavita chose to raise funds for breast cancer research after being diagnosed with the BRCA gene, carriers of which are at high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Kavita was told that her odds of having breast cancer were 85%, so she opted to have a double mastectomy. Kavita recollects her memorable run here.
Support and motivation as a junior doctor
‘The staff I met through my 18 months at Guy’s and St Thomas’ were the most dedicated individuals I’ve ever known. To see staff always giving 100%, both physically and emotionally, was hugely motivating at the start of my career.
‘The hospital does an amazing job but it needs additional funds to go the extra mile – whether that’s in patient care or research.
‘I’d always watched the London Marathon as a child and was inspired by the super-heroes (both in and out of costume) I witnessed running, walking and crawling the 26 miles around London’s beautiful landscape. In 2013, I turned 40 and I wanted to mark it positively as I had been diagnosed with the BRCA gene four years previously.
Raising £10,000 for breast cancer research
‘I ran the race alone but fundraised with a friend from Dubai, Nicky, who encouraged me during the painful months of training. Together Nicky and I raised £10,000 through the generosity of our friends and family.
‘I hope that our collected funds will help with breast cancer research so that if any of my children are diagnosed with a mutated BRCA gene, they may benefit from as yet undiscovered medical options.
‘For the marathon itself, I travelled from Dubai alone, incredibly anxious, leaving my husband and three gorgeous children at home. On the tube ride to the Marathon, I met loads of people all with their own touching stories.
‘The 12 miles following the halfway mark were the hardest of my life. I shed tears and remembered the past four years and their challenges. I have three young children and need to live a long, healthy life for them.’
Supporters from Guy’s and St Thomas’ cheering at the finish line
‘I will never forget the last part of the Embankment with St Thomas’ Hospital and Big Ben ahead, and the phenomenal crowds on the side-lines. The doubts were piling up in my head, but then I saw a huge group of people cheering just for me. The penny dropped when I saw they were wearing Guy’s and St Thomas’ t-shirts. Their cheers gave me the energy and courage to pass the finish line.
‘I felt elated and proud that I had completed the 26 miles. I’ve managed to inspire my children to believe that one day they can attempt the same challenge and raise funds for a charity close to their hearts.
‘I feel blessed to have been involved with such a wonderful charity and hospital, and to have given back to a community who took care of me as family while I was training.’
Were you successful in the ballot for London Marathon 2017? Why not join Team Guy’s and St Thomas’ and help support your hospital, just like Kavita did!