Skip Content
Cinderella to run London marathon for cancer namesake

Cinderella to run London marathon for cancer namesake

16 April 2012

Amateur dramatics enthusiast, Alison Mackie from Bramham, West Yorkshire, is running the London Marathon on 22 April dressed as Cinderella – a decision that has special poignancy for her.

Alison, 47, had to start rehearsals for her leading pantomime role within days of losing her dad, Gordon Brown, to pancreatic cancer last September, just seven weeks after he was diagnosed.
When she decided to run the London Marathon for charity,  she discovered that pancreatic cancer is also known as a ‘Cinderella cancer’ due to it receiving so little research funding, and the coincidence was too great to ignore.
Gordon was the founder and chairman of the highly successful Leeds advertising agency, WWAV Rapp Collins North and retired to Wetherby to be near his two daughters – a move which also allowed him to indulge in his love of horse racing.
“My dad was 73 when he died, but he wasn’t ready to go,” she says. “He loved life and was so full of fun. His diagnosis of terminal cancer was a bolt from the blue. But he continued to be the proverbial life and soul of the party and he wanted to enjoy every minute he had left.
“Even near the end, when the district nurses came to look after him through the night, he would get them to put music on and he’d stay up and sing along to his favourite tunes through the night. He was inspirational. I can honestly say that in those short few weeks before he died, he made sure that we shared some happy times and created many fond memories. When he died I was completely lost. He was my guiding star.”
Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate of any common cancer – 3 per cent – and this figure has not improved in forty years. It is a highly aggressive cancer, with no early diagnostic test. Despite this, it receives less than 2 per cent of available research funding.  
Alison hopes to raise at least £1,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund which supports research projects all over the UK to find effective treatments for the disease. She will also be donating funds to make sure Bramham village hall continues to thrive - the very place that she performed as Cinderella - as a thank you to the village community which rallied round after her father died.
Alison is looking for 400 people to sponsor her 10p a mile - just £2.60 per person - to reach her target. If you can help, please go to
"I haven’t been training in my costume, I don’t want to know how hard it is to run in until I’m on the start line and ready to go.” she says. “But one thing I do know is what I’ll be wearing on my feet ... And it won’t be my crystal slippers!”

< Back