Durham resident Andrew Thompson is taking on 10 marathons in 10 months to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, in memory of a friend he lost to leukaemia.
Starting at the Gin Pit Marathon in Manchester on Saturday 12th March, Andrew, 30, aims to complete a further nine marathons across the UK, including the Edinburgh and Nottingham Marathons, finishing his challenge at the Newcastle Town Moor Marathon in November. Remarkably, he also plans to take part in the Great North Run.
Andrew’s epic feat of endurance is dedicated to the memory of school friend Chris Hills. Chris was first diagnosed with the acute myeloid leukaemia in 1998 and responded well to treatment. Sadly, the disease returned and despite undergoing a bone marrow transplant he died in 2003, aged 23.
"It was a huge shock," says Andrew. "I’d been travelling around for the world for three years and came home to find that Chris had died. I’m running as a gesture in Chris’ memory, to support his mum, and to make something good come out of it all."
Despite completing six marathons last year, Andrew admits he has set himself a daunting target: "Managing my recovery will be the hard part, and maintaining the fitness. It’s going to be tough but, as a runner, you’re always looking for a new challenge and I’m determined to make it. Improving treatment for blood cancers like leukaemia is so important."
Andrew, a payroll administrator for HR specialists Cintra in Gateshead, is aiming to raise £5,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to support the charity’s groundbreaking research into better treatments and cures for all blood cancers, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. He hopes to raise a similar amount for children’s charity COCO.
Kate White, Director of Fundraising at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, says: "We wish Andrew the very best of luck. Running just one marathon takes real commitment and determination, so running ten is an incredible challenge to take on. It’s thanks to people like Andrew that Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research can continue investing in groundbreaking research into all blood cancers."
Help Andrew beat blood cancers
You can support Andrew throughout his 10 marathon challenge by visiting his justgiving page.