Monday, September 27, 2010

Running in memory of Martin and for bone cancer research (Run to the Beat 2010)

I now need to get on with raising some money. So I've written the following text for Facebook and elsewhere:

My youngest son Martin died of bone cancer at the age of 17. He had cancer for at least two years but was not diagnosed until a year before his death.

Martin was a great son and we had some fantastic times. In his last year while having chemotherapy and radiotherapy, he kept going to school and college, did well in his exams, formed a band called White Noise, created some beautiful music and took a leading role in organising band nights. And he partied in Newquay, at Reading Festival, in the woods, in the park, ...

Bone cancer mainly affects teenagers. The average age of diagnosis is 15. This form of cancer kills more teenagers than any other illness though many people don’t even know it exists. We didn’t until Martin was diagnosed. But being a childhood cancer it is relatively rare compared to those that affect adults so the funding for research is a drop in the ocean compared to what is spent on adult cancers such as breast or bowel cancer. The drug companies aren’t interested because there is not enough potential profit.

There are not many diseases that kill teenagers but primary bone cancer does and the longer it goes undiagnosed the more chance of it spreading and being more likely to kill. I’m raising money for Bone Cancer Research Trust (BCRT) as money raised for them goes into research projects to find new and better treatments and into awareness - raising. Val is now involved in the charity’s information work and a new website will soon be launched with a focus on information on the cancer, its treatment and research alongside a push to give both GPs and the general public more specific information about symptoms so that they can make earlier diagnoses.

Until the last few of years I've never really been a runner so doing two half-marathons in two weeks is a real challenge. I ran Run To The Beat yesterday AND I plan to run the Royal Parks Half Marathon on the 10th October. This will be the second time I've done this double half-marathon.

Yesterday’s half marathon was a personal best of 2 hours and 5 minutes. Here are a few photos – taken at 1 mile, 13 miles and after the run.

You can sponsor me at Donations will be quickly processed and passed to the Bone Cancer Research Trust. Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on the charity's behalf if you are eligible for this.

If you want to read Martin's story go

If you want to visit my running blog go to

I really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.

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