Just two years after getting the all clear from blood cancer, Kildress woman Ailis Corey has run the race of her life for the Anthony Nolan Trust.
Her first ever half marathon, the 34-year-old not only managed to finish the tough Great North Run - but put in a personal best on the day.
Fitter now that she’s ever been, the inspirational stem-cell transplant recipient survived Hodgkin Lymphoma twice, but said had she not gone on that journey she wouldn’t be where she is now.
Ailis told the Mail: “It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. Those 13 miles were a microcosm of the last few years. There were good times, there were easy times, there were hard times, challenges, you hit walls, you got over those walls and you got to the end.
“And the end was just amazing and made what went before it all worthwhile.”
The longest run she has ever done, Ailis said: “Basically I went from zero to 13 miles in 17 months. I started off with couch to 5k last April. I didn’t think I had it in me, but when the chips are down, slow and steady wins the race.”
Although she ran the race to raise much-needed funds for the Anthony Nolan Trust, which operates a stem cell donor list, she said she would also like to encourage people to become organ donors, or a blood donor, as you never know whose life you could save.
And even though she was worried the training for the race was putting her body through too much after almost six years fighting cancer, she said it helped her to see how far she had come and that it was what she needed.
“You just think about how far you’ve come,” she said. “You think ‘you’ve fought for your life, now you’ll have the run of your life’.
“Here I was standing at the start line of the biggest run in the world (and) I wouldn’t have been doing it without the challenges I had in the past.”
You can help at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/themagnificientseven