Family get running for charity

Fundraising pair ... Nigel Johnson and daughter Amy.
Fundraising pair ... Nigel Johnson and daughter Amy.

A Sleaford family have set themselves a series of physical challenges to raise funds for a cancer charity in tribute to a late relative.

Nigel Johnson, 43, and daughter Amy, 17, are to face a host of long-distance trials in 2017 in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

The pair have already completed one 10K and are set to take on three more together.

Nigel has also completed two half marathons so far this year (having never done any before these) and has another one ahead of him, as well a triathlon.

Alongside these, Nigel’s wife Sara, 48, is currently doing the Coach to 5K introduction to running and is hoping to complete an event later in the year for Macmillan.

In the meantime, she has been baking cakes and flapjacks to raise funds.

The joint effort is being made in tribute to Nigel’s mum Julie, who died in 2000, aged 51, following a battle against ovarian cancer.

Julie, of Leeds, was diagnosed with the disease after being admitted to hospital following chronic stomach pains in 1994. The news that it was terminal came as a huge shock to all the family.

Nigel said: “It was mum’s Macmillan nurse Judy who was able to help us make sense of everything. She was always there; a shoulder to cry on, someone to help make a cup of tea when we simply couldn’t function at all. But most of all give us practical, medical, and professional advice. Judy was a friend when we needed it most.”

Last Sunday, Nigel completed the Sleaford Half Marathon for Macmillan. His next challenge came just a week later at the Leeds Half Marathon.

Speaking on Monday, he said: “Eight days ago I had never run a half marathon - I have now done two! I would love my mum to be have been there to cheer me on too, but the irony is that if she was here, I probably wouldn’t be doing the runs.

“Doing something tough to raise money for Macmillan was inspired by the amazing support they gave her, and us as a family, when she was ill. I’ve cried tears of sadness but more of joy in this last week.”

Of the family’s efforts, Amy said: “We want other people to feel an urge like we do to raise money so that we can help other families going through the same thing as my family did. Not only does this money go towards helping other families going through this, but it also funds the nurses that the patients with cancer need.”

To donate, visit www.JustGiving.com/TheJohnsons2017Challenge

Anyone who has questions about cancer can call the Macmillan Support Line free on 0808 808 00 00, Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm or by visiting macmillan.org.uk.