In April I have set myself the challenge of running the London Marathon, in memory
of my courageous sister-in-Law, Ria Kelly.
Ria sadly passed away in 2013 when she was only 31 years of age. At just 27 Ria was
diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme, one of the highest grade brain tumours. I watched Ria with true determination fight this cruel disease and beat the odds that were against her. Although only given 6 months to live, Ria went on to fight brain cancer for 4 years undergoing brain surgery twice, gruelling radio therapy and numerous rounds of chemotherapy. With this time clock against her she still managed to smile every day, be extremely positive and try to bring happiness to all those around her. Her attitude was truly amazing to watch and she had unmatchable strength and power.
Ria's memory and determination lives on through the Brain Tumour Research charity. My motivation is simple. If Ria can fight cancer for 4 years and still smile every single day, I can do her the honour of running 26 miles in her memory and raise money to help find a cure for this awful disease. We all miss her deeply and she continues to motivate, drive and inspire us in life and in the challenges we set ourselves. I watched Ria suffer, and the hurt it bought to my wife Aissa and her family and friends to lose a loved one and it was an extremely painful time.
Families across the world are going through the heartache of discovering partners, children, siblings, parents with brain tumours and it's a sad fact that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. It's also a sad fact that just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
I have never embarked on a long distance running challenge so this will be tough. I have watched the marathon for the last four years wondering what it would be like and now to be awarded a place by the Brain Tumour Research charity and run for Ria is a real privilege.
I need your generous help, love, support and most importantly cold hard cash, (however large or small) to help raise money and achieve our target of £7000 by the end of April, double what is the committed requirement to run for Brain Tumour Research.
We all know someone affected by cancer, so myself and Aissa (Ria's sister, my wife) would be extremely grateful and contribute anything you can to help me reach my goal.
Training has started and I am hoping to make a good time. I will be thinking of all those families and Ria when I cross the line at The Mall on April 22nd and will be thanking all those who helped me achieve my biggest challenge yet!
Dig deep for Ria, Brain Tumour Research and all those families affected. Wish me luck! And lastly...thank you!