'I'd love Professor Craddock's job one day!'

6th September 2016

With the Great Birmingham run less than seven weeks away you might be forgiven for thinking that is not enough time for a first-time runner to train for a 13.1mile half marathon but that’s exactly what 23 year-old Amy Thompson from Wolverhampton is doing.

Amy won the chance to take on Cure Leukaemia’s eight-week challenge and she will be receiving expert training and guidance from personal trainer Simon King.

Amy will need to fit her training around being a mum and studying to become a doctor at the University of Birmingham but she has inspirational reasons behind wanting to take on this challenge for Cure Leukaemia.

“My mum, Jenny, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) in March last year.


It was a huge shock to the family at the time and my little girl Esme was just six months old, the house just felt empty without her.


Thanks to the treatment she received at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham my mum is now in remission and we are very hopeful for the future and my daughter still has her nan.”

Before her mum was diagnosed with leukaemia, Amy had already chosen Haematology as the field of medicine she would like to concentrate on moving forward.

“It was obviously meant to be and I am excited to run and raise funds for Cure Leukaemia and I hope that one day I can help people just like my mum."


Amy’s story provided another layer of coincidence when she reveled that her personal tutor at the University of Birmingham is none other than Cure Leukaemia co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock CBE.


“I have my eye on his job one day.”


Amy continued, “Charlie is an inspirational person. He has helped so many patients battling this disease over the years and if can achieve half of what Charlie has in his career I will be happy.”

Amy’s father, Andrew, ran for Cure Leukaemia last year and raised over £2,500 for the charity and was another reason Amy decided to take on the challenge.


“He’s a really good runner and he’s going to run for Cure Leukaemia again this year. I know he will support me through all my training and on the day itself.


He did so well with his fundraising last year, and this time it is going to be a joint family effort. I won’t beat his time but I’m aiming to raise more!”

Helping Amy prepare for the Great Birmingham Run is personal trainer and athletics coach Simon King who once coached English Junior Cross Country Champion Ellis Cross.


Simon has agreed to give Amy expert guidance regarding training and nutrition in the weeks leading up to the run.


“In an ideal world as a first-time runner you would want longer than eight weeks to train for a half marathon but it is possible.


The reason Amy is running is obviously very inspirational and that focus will really help her mentally.


I am certain she will finish the 13.1mile run and I’m looking forward to training her to do the best she possibly can.”

Amy continued, “I’ve never even run a 5km before so Simon certainly has his work cut out!


He’s been really thorough in discussing every aspect of my diet and daily routine and I am ready to make the changes required, I have faith that Simon will get me where I need to be come October 16th."


"I will be tweeting regularly during my training so I hope people follow my journey and offer encouragement because I know it will be tough at times!”

Team Cure Leukaemia and Amy will be wearing Cure Leukaemia’s special 10th Anniversary shirt for the half marathon after over 1000 people donated their names to appear on the garment.

Amy said, “it is a great idea by the charity and I was proud to donate my name."


"My mum has donated hers as well so it will be inspirational knowing her name is on our shirts on the day, I’m sure it will be an emotional day.”

There is still time to join Amy and run for Cure Leukaemia in the Great Birmingham Run in October. The charity will sign you up for FREE and ask for a minimum of £299 in sponsorship. Email beinspired@cureleukaemia.co.uk to sign up today.

Amy concluded; “if I can do this then anybody can! I am not a runner but I’m taking on the challenge and I hope many more people join me in Team Cure Leukaemia later this year.”

If you would like to make a donation to Amy and Andrew’s JustGiving page Click HERE


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The Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP)

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"Cure Leukaemia’s funding of the UK Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) is a game-changer and increases the access for blood cancer patients to potentially transformative new therapies."

Sir John Bell
"Cure Leukaemia’s funding of the UK Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) is a game-changer and increases the access for blood cancer patients to potentially transformative new therapies."

Sir John Bell