Gloucester businessman runs London Marathon in honor of his late father
A Gloucester businessman aims to raise thousands for charity when he runs the London Marathon in memory of his father. James Brown started running long distances when his father, Ian, died after a six-month battle with cancer, and has already completed 10k and half marathons.
This time he hopes to raise £5,000 to benefit Sue Ryder’s home at Leckhampton Court Hospice when he takes part in the London race in October. The owner of JB Event Hire wants to give something back to the charity which helped care for his father as his condition deteriorated and provided bereavement support to James and his family.
After being diagnosed with cancer in 2014, Ian himself started running against medical advice, to stay fit and raise money for Cancer Research UK. He completed the London Marathon in 2016, raising over £20,000 for various charities despite having his right lung removed two years prior.
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Ian had been accepted for the London Marathon in 2019 but was unable to take part as his condition began to restrict his mobility. In the summer of 2020, doctors discovered over 20 inoperable tumors on his brain. Sue Ryder started palliative care at Ian’s home, visiting at least twice a day to support Ian and his family.
Ian spent his final days in Cheltenham hospice before losing his fight for life in August 2020. James has been unable to be with his father for the past few days due to the pandemic, but medical teams were at their wit’s end wire so the family could receive updates as often as they wanted.
“My dad had six months to live after his first diagnosis, but he proved the doctors wrong and he did it until he was six. I started running in May 2020 hoping to run alongside him, but sadly never got the chance.
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“I’ve caught the running bug over the past two years and running 10k races has helped me lose three and a half stone while doing something that connects me to my dad.
“I completed the Cheltenham Half Marathon in September 2021 to support Sue Ryder, and now I’m aiming for the TCS London Marathon to give something back for their incredible support.
“We have set a fundraising target of £5,000. We plan to organize other fundraising activities in preparation for October to help us reach our goal, but we would like to see local people show their support.
Hospice Community Fundraising Manager Matt Reay said: “We are absolutely delighted to have James on #TeamSueRyder for the 2022 TCS London Marathon. James is a huge supporter of hospice, organizes events and raises vital funds, but also does volunteer work.
“As a charity, we rely heavily on fundraising and volunteer support from local people, organizations and groups so that we can continue to be there when it matters.”
For more information and to donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/james-brown229