A Ripley resident has decided take on the challenge of running the London Marathon later this month, in a bid to raise thousands of pounds for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Robert Walters, 47, is preparing to battle his way through the gruelling 26.2 mile race as a way of repaying the support the charity has given his 14-year-old son Lewis.
A sporty, healthy young lad, Lewis began experiencing severe headaches just over a year ago, and tests eventually led to a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
He was admitted into the specialist Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, for intensive treatment, beginning three years of chemotherapy.
Robert said: “From the moment we stepped onto to the Teenage Cancer Trust unit, we were blown away by the facilities and the staff.
“They provided a calm place for Lewis to undergo his treatment and it helped us all have a positive mind-set. I wanted to take on the marathon to give something back. The charity had a massive impact on Lewis’s life.”
It will be the first time Robert has run a marathon, describing himself as “unfit and overweight”, but he began training on November 1 last year, and has put in plenty of miles since.
He will be one of 35,000 other runners heading to the start line on Sunday, April 24, and one of 250 who form Team Teenage Cancer Trust.
Every day around seven young people aged 13 to 24 from across the UK are diagnosed with cancer.
Traditionally treated alongside children or elderly patients, young people can feel extremely isolated, some never meeting another young person with cancer.
Being treated alongside others their own age in a dedicated Teenage Cancer Trust unit can make a huge difference to their experience, comfort and recovery.
Rob has already raised more than £3,000 in sponsorship. To add your support, visit http://bit.ly/263SQwK.