Birmingham half marathon: group raise over £7,000 for charity in tribute to friend

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Image by Megan O’Shea. Back left: Blue Tilley, Kieran Grinham, Tom Bennett, Richard Tudor, Kieren Horgan, Paul Farley, Pat White, Pete Carter. Front left: Issy Higgins, Ruth Davies, Ellen Addis, Katie St Aubyn, Megan O’Shea, Bec Hull

A group of 13 have raised over £7,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust in memory of their best friend.

The team, from the Midlands, completed their first half marathon on Sunday in a bid to raise as much as possible for the charity.

Teenage Cancer Trust work with people aged 13-24 who have been diagnosed with cancer, offering support specifically tailored to young people’s needs.

Joe Farley was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma in 2013, when he and his friends were just 17-years-old.

During his four years of treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the charity ensured he received the best care available to him.  Their support subsequently allowed his friends to spend the time they got with him.

Following Joe’s death in November 2017, the group signed up for the Simplyhealth half marathon hoping to raise £200 each for the cause.

Speaking about the event, Megan O’Shea said:

“I’m incredibly grateful to all the donors, the pure support for such a great cause is overwhelming.

“To be able to take the horribleness of 2018 and add a bit of good with this fundraising in memory of Joe has made me incredibly proud of my friends.

“Raising such an incredible amount of money for such a worthy cause close to our hearts, I think even Joe would be smiling at the achievements.”

Thousands showed up to support runners along the 13.1 mile route despite the torrential weather conditions.

Half marathon route

Speaking after the run, Katie St Aubyn said:

“It was emotional running past the Teenage Cancer Trust stand, and seeing all the people who’d come to support us.

“The fact we did it together as a group and had all of our friends waiting at the end was amazing.”

Echoing these thoughts, Richard Tudor said:

“The crowd were fantastic throughout the race, and it really gave me a boost of confidence when people on the pavements were cheering me on.

“It feels great to have raised so much money for Teenage Cancer Trust – they do so much important work and to be able to help them help others is an absolute privilege.

“Completing such a difficult task with everyone else by my side, in memory of one of our best friends, and in aid of such an important and necessary cause, has been a fantastic experience.”

13.1 miles completed

The total now stands at £7,320.49, exceeding the targets set by each of the runners.  This donation pays for 290 hours of nursing care by a Teenage Cancer Trust Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Contributions can still be made to the GoFundMe page here.

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