This week, our Miles for Smiles Challenge is dedicated to Emma Bishop. Her story reminds us of the incredible strength and resilience that humans possess.
Emma is a 38-year-old married mother of two young children. In April 2022, her life took an unexpected turn when she went to the hospital with a collapsed lung and suspected pneumonia. She received a devastating diagnosis: incurable stage 4 EGFR Mutant non-small Lung Cancer which had spread to both lungs, lymph nodes, spine, ribs, pelvis, and liver.
Before you read further, watch below to hear from Emma in her own words in a video produced by Deia Media:
Emma says she is fortunate to be under the care of Professor Sanjay Popat at The Royal Marsden. She is being treated with a targeted TKI treatment called Osimirtinib, a tablet she takes daily.
"This miracle drug has stopped the spread and shrunk the cancer so that 9 months later there is no sign of disease beyond the lungs and we just hope it will keep the cancer asleep for as long as possible."
When she was first diagnosed, Emma says she made a commitment that, if she was well enough, she would run the London Marathon in April 2023 to support The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Incredible, she passed the fitness tests to participate and was able to complete the marathon.
In an Instagram post she made after the marathon, she wrote, "Knowing I have made a difference to cancer treatment and diagnosis for the future, means my own diagnosis hasn't been in vain and that was honestly the only thing I wanted. Thank you for giving me this gift."
Emma's treatment may not provide a permanent solution, but her courage and determination remain undiminished. She says she believes in the progress that The Royal Marsden is making to find new treatments for all cancers and hopes that her efforts will contribute to managing advanced cancers as chronic diseases rather than terminal ones with a goal to enable earlier diagnoses, providing more opportunities for successful treatment and even cures.
Emma's journey is not just about fighting her own battle; it's about making a difference for others facing similar challenges. She acknowledges the invaluable support and care she has received from The Royal Marsden, and she wants to give back. Emma's story is a testament to her unwavering commitment to living a normal life for her husband and children while also supporting the discovery of new cancer treatments.
As we run this week's Miles for Smiles Challenge in honor of Emma Bishop, let's take inspiration from her incredible strength, determination, and unwavering commitment to making a difference.
Keep running, keep smiling, and keep spreading hope through every mile. :)
Click here to sign up for the Miles for Smiles Challenge.