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Former MEN journalist dies from pancreatic cancer at 39

Burchill/King family, MEN

Former South Manchester Reporter journalist Marie King has died, six days before her 40th birthday, having been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer in April.

King’s family have set up a foundation in her name with the aim of raising awareness of the disease, whose symptoms, which include weight loss, sickness and indigetion, frequerntly go unnoticed.

King worked as a journalist on local and regional titles in the North West from 2004 until 2009 before moving into PR. She began her career at the Nelson Leader after sudying for her journalism diploma at the University of Central Lancashire, moving to the South Manchester Reporter, then part of the Guardian Group-owned MEN Media in 2006.

Highlights of her time as a journalist included interviewing then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown when he visited a Sure Start centre in Withington, in what her family say was one of her proudest moments as a journalist.

In 2009 King moved into PR, first at Altrincham’s Rumpus Communications and then in London, where she relocated with her fiancé, now husband, Rob King. She served spells at London’s Storm, and most recently Cube Communications. Marie and Rob have three children, Ava, seven, Harry, five, and Margot, one.

Rob said: “Marie was the light and laughter of our family. She was devoted to our children and cherished every moment of being a mummy. Her Manchester accent and warm, loving, unassuming personality lit up the lives of so many.”

Marie’s family have now set up The Marie King Foundation to fundraise in support of work by Pancreatic Cancer UK. Its first fundraising event will be a 42km sponsored family walk of The Royal Parks in London on 18/19th March 2023.

Rob will also be running the London Marathon on Sunday April 23, 2023 in her memory.

King’s parents, Chris and Mary Burchill, added: “We will do all we can to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer, in the hope that further research and funding will help others.”

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