Keats Library volunteer set for London Marathon for cancer charity

PUBLISHED: 10:00 25 April 2015

Jana Harrison at Keats Library. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Jana Harrison at Keats Library. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email

A librarian is putting down her books to run the London Marathon for charity after losing relatives to cancer.

Jana Harrison, 45, from Old Brewery Mews, Hampstead, will run the 26-mile route through the capital tomorrow for World Cancer Research Fund, after she lost two stepfathers to the disease.

The Keats Community Library volunteer has been running regularly on Hampstead Heath in preparation for her first marathon in aid of the cancer prevention charity.

“My stepfather passed away from oesophageal cancer,” said Ms Harrison. “Seeing the pain and sadness that he and my mother went through was pretty horrific.

“When my mother remarried, her husband later died from bladder cancer. My cousin also died of cancer after a 10-year fight with it.

“It was an awful time for our family, and when I got a marathon place I was determined to run for a cause that helps to stop this disease.

“It really opened my eyes to how we all need to do as much as possible to prevent cancer and as being active and healthy helps reduce your cancer risk, I thought a marathon was particularly fitting.”

The mother-of-three said local library users have spotted her training and her children’s encouragement is pushing her to complete the gruelling distance this weekend.

“I am a little bit nervous about running that length, but I’m determined to finish it,” she said. “I’ve had library customers congratulate me for entering, and my daughters keep on pushing me to train, so I have to finish.”

Paul Fretwell, head of fundraising at World Cancer Research Fund, said: “We’re so grateful that Jana is raising vital funds for us with this incredible challenge.

“Jana’s support helps us to reduce the number of people who are affected by cancer, and prevent the misery that this disease causes. We’ll be cheering her on every step of the way.”

Scientists say about a third of common cancers could be prevented if people were to maintain a healthy body weight, eat a healthy diet and be physically active.

To support Jana, visit For more information on cancer prevention or to sign up for one of World Cancer Research Fund’s fundraising events, visit or call 020 7343 4200.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

I live in the north west of London in the United Kingdom. Like the rest of the country, I have been looking on in bewilderment at the Brexit deal while politicians on both sides of the house vie for political supremacy. Divisions in government make for good news headlines but do nothing for the public’s confidence in its institutions.

Fri, 16:24

Normally we celebrate one business of the week – but today we’ve got three!

Fri, 15:17

A Routemaster bus will take 72 passengers on a journey through Greek Cypriot history, via Camden and Holloway, on Sunday.

Fri, 12:12

The latest twist in the saga of a Hampstead landlord who refuses to pay a controversial levy saw him bring a top barrister to his court hearing.

Fri, 09:48

Opponents of the 100 Avenue Road development suffered a major blow last night as Camden voted through a controversial plan that will funnel seven lorries a day through residential streets in Swiss Cottage.

Thu, 17:35

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Thu, 12:44

The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet’s Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.

Thu, 12:10

Tens of thousands of pounds, weapons and drugs were seized after searching a garage in the Peckwater Estate on Tuesday morning.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now