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Agony for triathlon champ turned Oscar-nominated Hollywood star Lesley Patterson as her career comes to tragic halt

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A TRIATHLON champ turned Oscar-nominated Hollywood star has seen her career come to a tragic halt.

Lesley Paterson, 43, made a name for herself when she smashed three triathlete world champions in just seven years.

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Lesley Paterson’s stellar career has come to a tragic halt[/caption]
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Her husband Dr Simon Marshall was sadly diagnosed with cancer in November last year[/caption]
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Lesley Paterson won seven BAFTAs for her First World War film[/caption]

Behind the scenes of her intense training regime, Paterson was battling to adapt the 1920 novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, for the big screen.

After 16 years, she was given the go-ahead and the First World War film won an astounding seven BAFTAs and four Oscars.

But three months ago, Paterson’s whirlwind career came to a halt when her husband Dr. Simon Marshall, was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Paterson revealed in a touching post on Instagram that her sports psychologist partner of 22 years was fighting to beat the devastating disease.

She wrote: “2023 was filled with the biggest of bigs, the highest of highs, the lowest of lows.

They were on top of the world

A source close to the couple

“From BAFTA wins, Oscars nominations, Oscar wins…but unfortunately…Simon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

“So in 2024 we face the biggest fight of our lives.

“Keep that positive energy coming because we are going to need it.”

Paterson, who is originally from Scotland, moved to California with Dr Marshall to pursue their Hollywood dreams.

Dr Marshall said despite the health battle he is now facing, they can’t forget the “incredible journey” they’ve embarked on together.

He added: “From launching new careers and moving to LA and embarking on this incredible journey we’ve both been on now in film… even though late stage pancreatic cancer is never nice but we’re going to beat it and I’ve got the world champ and hustler extraordinaire on my side and, on average, we’re doing fine.”

Paterson was an actor and unstoppable athlete when she decided to adapt the book for a modern audience.

Using her cash winnings from one of her races on Costa Rica, Paterson bought the film rights and fought to see her dream come to life.

After investing more than £165,000 over 16 years, Netflix agreed to make the movie as a German-language project.

A source close to the pair said: “After their Oscar and BAFTA wins they were on top of the world.

“They were finally living their dream, filmmaking offers were coming in and everything looked rosy.

“Then, in November of last year, Simon was diagnosed with one of the worst possible cancers.”

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer

According to Pancreatic Cancer UK the most common type of pancreatic cancer is PDAC – pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Five signs of the disease that could be mistaken for another condition, or niggle, include persistent stomach ache, backache, indigestion, unexplained weight loss and bowel habit changes.

Other symptoms that might be more obvious include jaundice, difficulty swallowing and vomiting.

Patients may also suffer the symptoms of diabetes because pancreatic disease stops the production of insulin.

The causes of the disease are not exactly known but there are several risk factors that can make someone more likely to get the disease.

The NHS and Cancer Research UK list some of these as smoking, obesity, diabetes, past radiotherapy treatment, chronic pancreatitis, stomach ulcers, Helicobacter or hepatitis B infection, and genetic factors.

It is the eleventh most common type of cancer in the UK and the sixth highest cause of cancer death.

The cancer has the lowest survival rate of any common cancer in the UK – with more than half of patients dying within three months of diagnosis.

Paterson said her husband’s diagnosis has “disrupted their plans” and impacted them “emotionally, physically, and financially”.

A GoFundMe has since been launched to support the pair and raise money for experimental cancer treatment.

Paterson wrote on the page: “Guided by the unwavering spirit that has defined our lives, we are determined to conquer this monumental challenge.

“Simon was on the brink of a remarkable new chapter in his career when this diagnosis disrupted our plans, impacting us emotionally, physically, and financially.

“While we are fortunate to have excellent insurance, the standard care options available for Pancreatic Cancer can be somewhat limiting in their effectiveness.

“In our quest for the best possible outcome, we are exploring new and emerging treatments, therapies, and modalities.

“These groundbreaking approaches offer hope, but they come at a significant cost. In our pursuit of victory over this relentless adversary, we find ourselves in need of support from our incredible community—our friends and family who have always stood by us through thick and thin.”

The couple’s goal is to raise half a million dollars.

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The couple are now trying to raise money to fund experimental treatment[/caption]
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