A young cancer survivor is taking on the Great Manchester Run for the hospital that saved her life

What an inspiration.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 9th May 2024

A former cancer patient from Manchester who was diagnosed at the age of just 17 is taking on this year’s Great Manchester Run on behalf of The Christie, the hospital she credits with helping save her life.

24-year-old Lea Abell from Failsworth is set to run the event for the first time on Sunday, 26 May to raise funds for The Christie Charity where she now works after completing her treatment.

Lea was sadly diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin lymphoma cancer back in March 2017 and had to undergo intense chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment at The Christie’s TYA (Teenage and Young Adult) unit.

Thankfully, she showed plenty of Manc spirit even at such a young age and in September 2018, Lea was told her treatment had been successful and is now looking to dedicate her efforts this May to the local life-saving institution.

After so much support and care from The Christie during her time there, the youngster decided that she wanted to give back and be a part of it all herself, going on to become part of the foundation’s mass participation events team – hence where the Great Manchester Run comes in.


Speaking on the hospital and the ward she spent her time in, specifically, Lea said: “The TYA, where do start? They are absolutely amazing! Every single member of staff from Julie the receptionist to Hanna Simpson, the head nurse and all of the other doctors and nurses were incredible.

“They make you feel so at home, and they support you mentally and physically throughout your treatment – they are all so positive, so you don’t feel like you’re going there for cancer treatment. I really wouldn’t have got through it if it wasn’t for the people there, so I owe them everything!


“Hanna and Julie always went out of their way to check up on me and tried to make my days better in any way they could, and I’ll never forget that.” Having turned up with the events team to the Great Manchester Run last year and seeing what a “brilliant day” it was, she decided 2024 was her year.

She’s becoming the latest among the hordes who run on behalf of The Christie at events across the globe every year.

Having only recently started her running journey this year and with the popular running event just around the corner, it’ll be a massive achievement for the young survivor and her team at the charity, with plenty of people backing her and a simple aim in mind: raise as much money as possible.

Lea has only recently started her running journey this year, so to take on the Great Manchester Run will be a big achievement for her, but she has plenty of people in her corner.


She went on to add: “My immediate family includes my mum Nicola, my dad Gary, and my brother and sister Jake and Sophia who were all there for me during treatment, and they will be there on the day of the Great Manchester Run to cheer me on alongside my other family members and friends.”

You’re going to absolutely smash it, Lea, we know it.

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As for the charity themselves, The Christie’s mass participation events development manager, Lindsey Farthing, added: “Lea is a valuable member of our team and we’re all really touched that she has chosen to run the Manchester 10K for our charity.

To have a member of staff in our team who has been treated at The Christie and wants to give something back to the organisation that saved her life is really special for us all. We couldn’t be prouder of her and we wish her all the very best.”

If you want to help do your bit, you can donate to Lea’s fundraiser HERE and be sure to turn up in your droves come race day to cheer her on along with the thousands of runners raising money for charity.


These are the days when Greater Manchester is truly at its best.

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Featured Images — The Christie/Supplied