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London Marathon: Michela sets sights on raising £2,500 for Macmillan Cancer Research in support of friends Hayley Lynskey and Jo O’Brien





This year’s London Marathon holds a special dual significance for 22-year-old Michela Wilde as she aims to raise £2,500 for Macmillan Cancer Research in honour of two special friends.

She is excited to be taking on the 26.2-mile (42km) challenge on Sunday April 21 for her boss and IndiesPerson of Courage winner Hayley Lynskey, who owns the Bishop’s Stortford and Stansted breakfast and after-school clubs Early Birds and Night Owls and has terminal cancer.

Michela is also running for family friend Jo O’Brien, who was diagnosed with the disease in November and is undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

London Marathon runner Michela Wilde
London Marathon runner Michela Wilde

Michela, from Little Canfield, has worked for Hayley for two years and said: “She’s not only an amazing boss, she’s also an amazing mother, wife and friend. Hayley is married to her childhood sweetheart Michael and they have six wonderful children together, one of whom is a good friend of mine.

“My mum’s best friend Jo is an amazing mother and close family friend who I’ve known since I was six.

“I’m running for these amazing inspirational women and to make them proud and to show how much we support them.

Indies 2022 Person of Courage winner Hayley Lynskey with Michael Smith, manager of category sponsor Jackson Square Shopping Centre. Pic: Vikki Lince
Indies 2022 Person of Courage winner Hayley Lynskey with Michael Smith, manager of category sponsor Jackson Square Shopping Centre. Pic: Vikki Lince

Hayley, 45, was diagnosed in 2022 with neuroendocrine cancer, a rare form of the disease which affects the cells that release hormones and tumours can appear anywhere.

Well known to thousands of parents through her seven breakfast and after-school clubs, which employ more than 50 people and care for 800 children in Stortford and Stansted, she has spent 20 years building a business that families rely on. As well as the Early Birds and Night Owls clubs, Hayley runs Little Ladybirds and Appletree Pre-Schools, Forest School and Holiday Hedgehogs, offering childcare during school holidays.

Following her diagnosis, Hayley won the Indies Community Awards’ Person of Courage title in 2022 in recognition of facing the ravages of cancer with the same “overwhelming positivity” that has always been her trademark.

Michela said: “I used to love running when I was younger but fell out of love with it. I then became influenced by my friends who ran last year’s London Marathon and watching it was amazing. The atmosphere, the people cheering you on… I just felt like I wanted to run it and thought I’d love to run it for Hayley and Jo, to make them proud and raise money and awareness.

London Marathon runner Michela Wilde
London Marathon runner Michela Wilde

“They’ve both wished me well, but cannot come up to watch. Hayley’s not doing so great. I’m looking forward to it and I know it’s going to be one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.”

So far Michela has raised £1,070 towards her £2,500 target and is inviting people to visit her fundraising page at https://2024tcslondonmarathon.enthuse.com/pf/michela-wilde.

She added: “Both of these women have been, and still are, hugely influential in my life. Please help me raise awareness and donate to this extremely worthy cause.”



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