On Sunday 10th September this Blood Cancer Awareness Month, Amy Cotter laced up her trainers to take on the iconic Great North Run.

Amy took on the challenge of running 13.1 miles in the half marathon, and recently spoke about how she was motivated to take on this challenge after her cousin, Nicola Mallen, was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in January 2022.


“The Great North is infamous, and it will be an honour to do it on behalf of Cure Leukaemia.

It is the least I can do. People are fighting for their lives day in day out and if I can raise awareness and funds by running then why not!
Whilst Nicola was having treatment, her health deteriorated and on the 30th April 2022 she was put into an induced coma due to an infection in her Hickman line. This later developed into sepsis.

After 12 days she was brought out of the coma but it did not go without further complications. Doctors had struggled to stabilise her blood levels which lead to her being diagnosed with Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). Unbeknown to her family at the time, she was given months to live.

She was already on the waiting list for a stem cell transplant – but she was against the clock!

A match was found and on 27th September 2022 she underwent a stem cell transplant.

Nicolas first grandchild was born in August 2022 – Thanks to her donor she has been given a second chance to live life to the full and watch her granddaughter grown up.”


 The Great North Run is one of the largest Great Run’s across the UK, and one of the largest half marathon races in the world with over 60,000 runners taking part, including the legendary British athlete, Sir Mo Farah.
Amy has been busy training over the past few months ahead of the big event, but training hasn’t gone without it’s share of difficulties.


“Training was going great, up until 2 weeks ago! I have sprained my ankle so have been managing that and making sure that I am still race ready for the 10th September!

It’s nothing a little strapping, pain killers and the amazing crowds at the Great North can’t sort!”


Despite the issues training, Amy successfully took on the run on Sunday, and managed to complete every mile.

She spoke about how she found the day:

“What an incredible weekend taking part in the Great North Run 2023 for Cure Leukaemia!

Thanks to you lovely people we raised just shy of £600! I managed a time of 2:09:37 for you Nick! Gave it my everything for you.

It was the toughest run I have ever done by far! Manchester Marathon felt easier than that!
The weather was a challenge from start to finish – it was super hot but cooled down the closer we were to the sea but the heat had already taken its toll! Thank goodness for the people out with hose pipes & tip-tops!

I struggled with a stitch from mile 8-11 and just couldn’t move it & actually ended up stopping altogether at one point.

Fantastic finish & support from the crowd on the last mile along the promenade – unreal atmosphere, and I managed to get a shout out for Cure Leukaemia & Nicola Mallen as I crossed the line which was a bonus!

Followed by rain, rain, more rain, lightening, floods, road closures, flooded metro & soggy runners.Regardless of the sogginess it was a great weekend with wonderful people and we have all raised huge amounts for our chosen charities!

Now to rest until my ankle has healed & get ready for round 2 at Manchester Half Marathon in October.”