Woman Reveals That She Left Her Boyfriend Because His Cancer Battle Was ‘Damaging’ Her Mental Health, Says She’s Now Running A Marathon In His Honor

Unsplash/ Miguel A Amutio

32-year-old Danielle Epstein reveals that she’s running in the London Marathon taking place on Sunday to honor her former boyfriend, who she left because his cancer struggle was taking a toll on her mental health, reports the New York Post

37-year-old Jelle Fresen, her ex-boyfriend, was diagnosed with cancer back in September. He was told that he had a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer, a grade 4 medulloblastoma. After 17 hours of brain surgery, Fresen had to learn how to walk again. He also went through six weeks of radiation therapy and started nine months of chemotherapy. Reports added that the battle was overwhelming for Epstein. 

Epstein told South West News Service,

“I felt like the most awful person, leaving somebody because they have cancer, but it was damaging my mental health, and it wasn’t helping Jelle.” 

She went on to say that the was concerned about her ex and she had trouble eating and sleeping. She said,

“I was having panic attacks and was on so much medication to sort myself out I just couldn’t function … I still love Jelle deeply and want to support him, but I came to realize I couldn’t stay with him as his partner.”

Although they broke up, the woman revealed that she’s doing the marathon to honor him to support brain tumor research. 

The pair were in the process of buying a home when he began experiencing vomiting and dizzy spells. Reports added that Fresen was a Google software engineer. Medical experts initially believed he had an ear infection; however, the vomiting continued and a scan located a cancerous tumor. After the surgery, Fresen suffered from nerve damage. 

“We were on a certain path to a certain future, and within one day we knew it wasn’t going to work out like that anymore,”


Following the split, Epstein moved to Thailand with her father. Yet, she and Fresen are trying to work out a friendship. 

Despite it all, Fresen will be in attendance to support Espein. Reports added that the woman launched a JustGiving page fundraiser to raise money for brain tumor research. 

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