A passionate north-east runner who has been given less than five years to live hopes to create a lasting legacy with a new sporting event.
Marie Dobson battled breast cancer several years ago but has now been told the disease has spread to her ribs, chest, spine and hips – and is terminal.
The diagnosis means the 36-year-old personal trainer and former 400m hurdle athlete from Newmachar can no longer run – something she says is “devastating”.
Marie, who was part of the Aberdeen Athletics Club, Jog Scotland and Newmachar Running Group, has been told her bones are so fragile that simple exercise could lead to a severe injury.
Although she is unable to run herself now, she hopes her legacy will live on through a new fun run, held for the first time yesterday. The inaugural Run4Marie took place at Haddo House and Country Park and attracted more than 200 people.
The event involved a 5km fun run and family fun relay and coincided with Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
Marie said Haddo was chosen because it was one of her favourite places to run.
She said: “I decided I wanted to create a legacy. If I can’t run, then I want people to run and experience it.
“I know I am terminal but I got the chance to run for three years cancer-free.
“My doctors have told me that because I was in such good health I’m looking at two to five years. It is amazing I still have that and lucky I still get the chance as others don’t.
“I want to do as much as I can to spread the love of running.”
She added: “I previously had breast cancer in 2015 and I was just diagnosed in June with secondary breast cancer.
“I was told it was terminal and there is nothing I can do about it but try and create a miracle.
“It was a major shock.”
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
Marie wants to raise awareness of the symptoms of secondary breast cancer as she was unaware pain she was feeling in her back and hips could be linked to the condition.
Secondary breast cancer is a condition which sees breast cancer cells spread to other parties of the body.
She said: “I had a lot of pain in March and it had carried on into June and I think if I had been more aware of looking out for pain in my back or hips, I might have known sooner.”
During her first battle with breast cancer she was forced to give up her beloved running due to the treatment she was receiving.
However, after joining the Newmachar Running Group and Jog Scotland, she found her passion for the sport was undimmed.
Marie said it has been particularly hard to deal with the impact on her hobby. She said: “When I found out I had the secondary breast cancer all I wanted to do was run. I love running and it is my huge passion.”
“When I was diagnosed in June I was told because of my fragile bones that if I exercise or run it could lead to paralysis. Being told I can’t run is devastating for me. I’ve run my whole life.”
Marie, who has been supported throughout her battle by her partner Neil Barclay, said of the inaugural event: “It was amazing. It was great to see everyone have smiles on their faces when they came across the finish line.
“Obviously I was nervous as this was my first time organising an event like this.
“I just want this run to be my legacy so that other people can get the joy of running.”