When your mum and dad have both been affected by bowel cancer, your view of life changes.

That’s what happened to Emily Berge who decided to do her bit by running the London Marathon and raising money for Bowel & Cancer Research.  

“Although mum and dad are now both cancer free, it’s a horrible disease which will continue to affect them for the rest of their lives,” said Emily, a 35-year-old mum-of-two.

Her dad, Robin Woodland, was first to be diagnosed in 2010 when he was 59. All too aware of his experience, Emily’s mum Susan opted for an early screening trial which led to an operation in 2015.

As a result, Emily and her two sisters Kate and Jess Woodland, have all been advised they will need early screening.

Emily, who trained as a biomedical scientists, says her decision to run the marathon on April 26 is her way of giving something back.

“When mum and dad were ill, lots of charities were really helpful. I decided to support Bowel & Cancer Research because I know the value of research, and one day in future I and my family might need some of the treatments which are being investigated today,” she said.

The daft thing is that bowel cancer is so treatable if it’s found early. The trouble is that people are too embarrassed to go to the doctor.

To help raise awareness – and some cash – she will be rattling a collecting bucket for Bowel & Cancer Research dressed in a giant poo emoji costume in her home town of Woking.

She confesses that she’s not a runner.

“I’ve never been sporty. But after having the kids I wanted to do some exercise. Running is free and I didn’t have to sign up to a gym,” she said.

She tackled her first marathon in Brighton in 2018 for Bowel & Cancer Research. In London she’s hoping to finish in less than five hours.

There to cheer her on will be her ‘super-proud’ mum and dad, husband James, children Lily and Harry, sisters Kate and Jess and a bevy of friends.

A spokesperson for Bowel & Cancer Research thanked Emily for her support.

“It’s great to hear that Robin and Susan Woodland are well. Our mission is to ensure that no one should die of bowel cancer in future and we can only do that with the help of our fantastic fundraisers,” she said.

Anyone who wants to support Emily can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emily-berge1