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Ocular melanoma patient aims to conquer London Marathon

“I was radioactive for the four days I was in hospital, which meant my children were unable to visit me”

20 Mar 2018 by Andrew McClean

A former midwife is training to complete the London Marathon on 22 April following treatment for ocular melanoma.

Ruth Johnston (pictured) was diagnosed with the eye cancer in 2015 and is now partially blind in her left eye.

The 44-year-old from London is aiming to raise £2000 for national charity OcuMel UK, who supported Ms Johnston when she was receiving treatment.

Speaking about the charity, Ms Johnston said: “With other forms of cancer there are several charities and support groups who can help but this is not the case with eye cancer.”

“OcuMel UK have been a tower of strength to me and I want to raise as much money as possible for them,” she added.

Ms Johnston was referred to Moorfields Eye Hospital after visiting her local opticians for an eye examination. She was diagnosed with a small tumour and treated with plaque radiotherapy.

“I was radioactive for the four days I was in hospital, which meant my children were unable to visit me,” she added.

Ms Johnston was told last year that the tumour is now inactive, but will need check-ups for the rest of her life in case it becomes active again.

“For a long time, I was really terribly scared and I didn’t know how to cope. One of the reasons I decided to run the marathon is to keep my mind on other things and to stop me thinking about cancer as much as possible,” she said.

As part of her training for the marathon, Ms Johnston now runs three times a week and recently got up to 18.3 miles.

National director of OcuMel UK, Jo Gumbs, said: “We applaud Ruth in her efforts in running the London Marathon to support us.”

“Research into the causes and treatment of this condition is extremely underfunded. We are so thankful to all our fundraisers for helping us to provide more support and research into this condition,” she added. 

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