A river cruise line boss, who is in remission after being diagnosed with leukaemia 11 months ago, has been “humbled” by travel industry support as she prepares to run the London Marathon.
A-Rosa River Cruises’ UK and Ireland managing director Lucia Rowe (pictured) is raising money for the Family Holiday Association ahead of the race through central London on October 3.
She completed her final chemotherapy session on January 4 and quickly began training for the 42km marathon.
In her first week, she covered 23km during but increased her weekly distance to more than 60km by the middle of March as she started to feel stronger.
So far, Rowe has run around 1,754km as part of her training programme.
Rowe said: “Running got me through those dark times mentally. The travel industry has been writing to me during my illness, so I must run the London Marathon now I am in a good place.
“The feeling was overwhelming. People heard what had happened to me and there was a flood of presents, messages, and calls. You feel ever so humbled when so many people are rooting for you.”
Currently, Rowe is just off her £2,000 fundraising target. She will donate all proceeds to the Family Holiday Association charity, which takes children from disadvantaged backgrounds on UK breaks.
“The Family Holiday Association said that so many families around the UK never have the chance to have that feeling of going away,” she said.
“I grew up in deepest communism in Romania. Things were tough, and we were never able to go abroad, however my parents and I would be able to go on a little holiday. They were sunshine moments. I’ve remembered them all my life.
“I was in shock that so many people in the UK have not gone away because they cannot afford it. It’s just shocking. I said that I was going to do something for this charity – and then my illness came and then Covid came.”
To donate, visit Lucia Rowe’s JustGiving page.