A South London woman who’s determined to keep her mum’s memory alive after losing her to cancer, has completed the 26-mile Thames Path Macmillan ‘Mighty Hike’ in her mother’s honour.

Catherine Griffiths (40) from Sutton lost her mum Marjorie to breast cancer in 2006. Marjorie was supported through her most difficult times by a Macmillan Nurse known simply to the family as ‘Diana’, but who was key to helping Marjorie come to terms with her diagnosis and treatment

Catherine said: “It’s almost 18 years since we lost Mum, and it feels as important as ever to set myself challenges and focus on things that keep her memory alive. It’s my way of honouring her and making her proud.

“Giving back to Macmillan, as a way of thanking her Macmillan Nurse, began in 2005 while Mum was still with us, so she knew that I did these kind of events – and every time I do one I feel I’m connecting with Mum.”

Catherine completed the Thames Path Macmillan Mighty Hike with her friend Leanne and has previously cycled across South Africa, run the Windsor half-marathon, and in 2021 she took part in the South Coast Macmillan Mighty Hike.

However one of the most poignant events was when she and her brother Paul took part in the Great North Run just a year after Marjorie’s death.

Catherine said: “Mum passed away on the weekend of the Great North Run and it felt so right that Paul and I did that run for her to mark the first anniversary, one year on.

“Challenging myself and making the time to focus on something positive for my mum helps me to stay close to her even all these years later.

“Grief goes through many stages, and I think you never really stop having moments of sadness, but I get a great deal of joy from doing Macmillan Mighty Hikes. There is a feeling that you’re surrounded by others who are celebrating their loved ones too, which makes for a very special positive atmosphere.

“I’m going to do a Macmillan Mighty Hike every other year until I finish them all.”

More than 2,000 people took part in the 2023 Thames Path Macmillan Mighty Hikes on the 15th July. The 13-mile and 26-mile routes started from Windsor Racecourse and ended at Marsh Meadow, Cookham and at Temple Island Meadows, Henley-on-Thames.

Macmillan Cancer Support Senior Challenge Events Programme Manager, Lauren Sanders, said: “Macmillan Cancer Support is incredibly grateful to everyone who took part in the breathtakingly beautiful but physically challenging Thames Path Macmillan Mighty Hikes.

“The 30,000 people who are taking part in Macmillan Mighty Hikes this summer are part of something very special. Every penny raised at a Mighty Hike will help Macmillan to provide vital emotional, physical and financial support for people living with cancer, who need it now more than ever.”

Lauren added: “Our waiting list is open for Thames Path Mighty Hike 2024 and there are still some places available at a small number of our other Macmillan Mighty Hikes this summer, so sign up now at”

Santander is the official Mighty Hike partner. Macmillan and Santander are working together to provide financial support and improve banking services for people living with and affected by cancer throughout the UK.

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