"I'm running the marathon for my dad, Norman, who was diagnosed
with prostate cancer in January 2012 at the age of 65. We were
really surprised when we found out because he hadn't had any
symptoms and he'd never really been ill.
"While he was having a routine check up, he thought he may as
well have a PSA test so he asked for one. He knew about it
because previous family members have had prostate cancer. The
doctors came back and said his PSA was really raised and sent him
for further tests and that's how he got diagnosed.
"He decided to have his prostate removed and volunteered to take
part in a clinical trial which meant he also had radiotherapy and
hormone therapy. He was fine at first in terms of side effects. His
new wife had given birth to a little boy during the treatment and
that helped him stay feeling young and positive.
"Thankfully, he was given the all clear this year though he's
still getting side effects, which he's finding more difficult now.
They're sending him for tests and finding ways to help him manage
this and Dad's a very strong person - he isn't going to let it get
"We first heard about Prostate Cancer UK while Dad was going
through treatment. It was a fantastic support. Dad called the Specialist
Nurses for support and was able to speak to other people with
the disease. He was also directed to help with his financial
situation, which was quite difficult as he couldn't work and his
wife was pregnant.
"The services really helped me too. Me and Dad are really close
and looking at the information on the website made it a lot less
scary. Everything was so clear and easy to understand. It made it
easier to talk about positive and practical things with him as
opposed to thinking: 'Oh my God is he going to die?'
"I decided to run the marathon for Prostate Cancer UK because I
just felt I had to do something. The research they fund is really
important and we need to raise awareness of the fact that African
Caribbean men are three times as likely to get prostate cancer as
"I hadn't done any long distance running before, but I thought
if Dad was brave enough to take part in a clinical trial that then
maybe I could do a marathon. I also wanted the challenge of trying
to overcome my own health issues. I have osteopenia, which
basically means I shouldn't be able to run that far. It affects
your joints, your hormones and your muscles. I don't like being
told I can't do things so I was pretty determined. And the doctor
said as long as I trained properly and ate properly it should be
"The training has been a bit gruelling, partly because of how
bad the weather's been. There have been days when it's just been
too icy to go out. But I do enjoy it and get a real sense of
achievement. When I did my first run over 10 miles, I found myself
feeling very emotional afterwards. I did my first 20 miles the
other week and managed to do that in the five hours so I'm hopeful
that I will get the 26 miles done in seven hours.
"Dad will be coming to watch. He was a bit shocked by it all and
can't believe I would want to go and do that, but he is so proud.
I'm very nervous but I am looking forward to it. I've done most of
my training by myself, so it'll be really good to run with other
people so we can motivate each other.
"I'm really, really close to my dad and I love him so
much. There couldn't be any better inspiration for me to get out
and run. It's almost like I'm getting my own back on cancer."