The incredible Monica Jandrisits recently ran The London Marathon in support of Prevent Breast Cancer. Her fighting spirit was surely instrumental in helping her complete the race. Monica has sadly lost family members to breast cancer and is at high risk of developing the disease herself. Having been carefully monitored for over twenty years in specialist family history clinics, Monica has thankfully remained breast cancer free. But she knows there’s so much more research to be done in preventing breast cancer for those at high risk, which is why she is a great supporter of ours.
Could you share with us a summary of your experience with breast cancer?
My mother is a breast cancer survivor of almost 40 years, one of my sister-in-laws is a survivor of 17 years and I have also lost an uncle to breast cancer. I know all too well the devastating impact breast cancer has on the person, as well as their family.
I am also at high risk of developing breast cancer myself. I have been supported for over 20 years with extra mammograms and education from a Family History Clinic.
I have also taken part in research projects aimed at improving breast imaging for those who are at high risk. Whilst I am grateful to have reached 60 years of age breast cancer free, the support available has never seemed enough. I know that more research is key to improving this, which requires more funding. This is why I chose to raise money for Prevent Breast Cancer by running the London Marathon in April 2023.
Do you have any advice or tips for anyone who has been through a similar experience?
Fight for your breasts. I have known for almost 40 years that I am at high risk of developing breast cancer due to my family history, but I still had to push to get a referral into a Family History Clinic. I was discharged from the clinic aged 50. I was then recruited to take part in research projects several years later because I also have dense breast tissue which is another high-risk factor. I know I have been lucky to be cancer free so far.
What does a breast cancer free future mean to you?
I know too many people who have lost their battle with breast cancer, are going through chemotherapy at present, or have recently had confirmation they are carrying the BRCA gene and are faced with horrible decisions now. Life shouldn’t be so cruel. I would encourage anyone to get involved in fundraising and research projects as there is still so much more improvement to be made. A breast cancer free future must be our aim.
Why is Prevent Breast Cancer your chosen charity, and why did we stand out to you?
I am a firm believer in investment in research and preventative health care, which is why Prevent Breast Cancer’s work is hugely important to me.
Can you tell us more about taking on The 2023 London Marathon to raise funds for Prevent Breast Cancer?
For me, The London marathon was an incredible experience. The training was intense, and at aged 60, I just wanted to make it to the start line injury free. So, I thank my physiotherapist, my sports massage therapist and the run coach who worked to keep me going! As training took over my life for over four months, my usual going out budget went into marathon preparation!
I’d say to anyone wanting to run a marathon for charity…believe! Believe in your training plan. Believe your mind can power your body through it. But most of all, believe in your cause! You will gain a surprising number of supporters who will root for you along your training journey. They will donate and be tracking and cheering for you. And you will feel proud of yourself, not just for finishing the 26.2 miles, but for raising money and the profile for a cause you strongly believe in!
Thanks so much to Monica for sharing her story with us today, and for absolutely smashing her London Marathon challenge!
Feeling inspired? It could be you at the finishing line next year, having achieved something amazing for yourself and our charity. Register today.
Every step you run brings us a step closer to breast cancer free future.