Teacher to run London marathon for youth cancer charity

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An Ollerton school leader is gearing up to run his second marathon this month in support of a cancer care charity which helped his family.

Mark Nunn, vice principal at The Parkgate Academy on Whinney Lane, will attempt the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday, April 23, to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The 32-year-old was inspired to hit the road and take on the challenge after losing his brother-in-law Thomas to cancer of the duodenum last December, aged just 23.

Mark said: “After being diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour, Tom spent a number of weeks, particularly towards the end of his life on a Teenage Cancer Trust unit at Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield.

“For most people, spending time on a cancer unit is linked to one of the worst periods of their lives and while the Teenage Cancer Trust can’t perform miracles, the staff and surroundings in the unit make an incredibly difficult time significantly better.”

He added: “The unit allowed Tom to be in more comfortable, private, surroundings where members of his family could visit him whenever they wished.

“The staff were incredible and three members actually came to his funeral which was greatly appreciated by the whole family.”

Mark started running as Tom’s condition worsened, and since his death he has completed two half marathons and the full Yorkshire marathon in support of the trust.

He said: “As you’d expect, there are good days and bad days but, as much as possible, everyone tries to remember the happy times with Tom. His daughter Willow is a constant reminder as she looks more and more like him each day.

“As a family, we are just so grateful to the trust for its support and for providing a place which made Tom’s final month’s much easier.”

Mark is hoping to personally raise £3,000 for the charity, and is one of 160 runners who will form Team Teenage Cancer Trust.

Funds will go to help people like Tom - an average seven a day, aged 13-24, are diagnosed with cancer in the UK.

Being treated alongside others their own age in the charity’s state-of-the-art units can make a huge difference.

To donate to Mark’s fundraising, visit http://bit.ly/2oD8vph. To learn more about the trust, go to www.teenagecancertrust.org.