As I write this column, the anticipation of what I think will be my 14th (it’s easy to lose count!) London Marathon has got my legs shaking as, once again, I’ll be lacing up my running shoes to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK.

Running the London Marathon is always a challenge but it’s also an immensely rewarding experience. The camaraderie among fellow runners and the encouragement from spectators lining the streets creates an atmosphere like no other and pushes you on when you’re starting to lag (which for me is usually fairly early on!)

The experience is made all the better knowing that we’re all championing charitable causes close to our hearts. For me, Cancer Research UK is that cause.

Sadly, I know from my own personal experience the devastation cancer can cause and the impact it has on families. Most people locally know what this is like, as 1 in 2 people in Barnsley will be diagnosed with Cancer at some point in their lives and more than a quarter of all deaths locally are from Cancer.

That’s why it is so important we raise money for charities like Cancer Research UK who do exceptional work to support people living with Cancer and their families whilst also taking us closer to the next ground-breaking discovery with their research.

Beyond my fundraising milestones however, I’m also running to raise awareness about the critical importance of early cancer detection.

Catching the disease early saves lives, and anyone who notices any changes or feels that something is not quite right should get it checked out. This particularly applies to all the stubborn Barnsley blokes out there who are notoriously bad for not bothering to go and see their GP when they think something is wrong!

Throughout the gruelling marathon itself, the unwavering support I have received will continue to be my constant motivation, and whether it's the cheers from the sidelines or the donations that have come in, each gesture of kindness propels me forward with a renewed determination and purpose.

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I am deeply thankful to everyone who has supported me on this journey so far. Together, we are marching forward in the fight against cancer and are making a real difference to those who have been affected by this cruel disease.

I don’t like asking, but if anyone feels that they can sponsor me, I would be truly grateful. You can donate via my fundraising page: https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/dans-london-marathon-5