Marathon Man Gary takes on 31 day challenge for The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity
A keen runner plans to complete a marathon a day for 31 consecutive days to raise funds for The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.
Gary Morton, from Rossendale in Lancashire, is a keen amateur sportsman who has already completed a solo English Channel swim, triathlons, an ironman contest and has been running 10k every day since the start of the year.
Now Gary, 43, is upping the miles to say thank you to The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Wirral, where his mother in law Gillian Walker is being treated.
Gillian, 62, is receiving immunotherapy treatment after being diagnosed with skin cancer four years ago that spread to her liver and lung.
Gary’s wife Lindsay said: “It’s by far the toughest thing to watch someone you love, go through something like this and not be able to do anything about it.
“Just a few months ago mum got what we though was tonsillitis, it wasn’t and we got the worst news and found out the cancer had spread to her throat, her liver and her lung, we were beyond devastated and instantly thought the worst.
“After being told her cancer had spread her amazing consultant offered her a lifeline and told her about immunotherapy at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.”
Gillian is reacting well to the treatment.
Lindsay added: “We were, and if I’m honest still are, completely dumbstruck, we never dared think about getting to this point but by the sheer incredible talent of doctors and with the research into treatments for this devil of a disease we’re somehow here.”
Gary started his challenge on Friday (29th September) and has now completed five runs, with today’s (3rd October) taking him an impressive four hours and 13 minutes.
The 43-year-old is head of purchasing for DW Sports and is running to work in Pemberton, Wigan, every morning which means getting up at 3am to eat his porridge and fruit before setting off on his marathon.
He wants his final 26.2 miles to be from Gillian’s home town of Wigan to The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, to be greeted by his family, including sons Dominic, 11, and five-year-old Albie.
Lindsay said: “Gary has got more self-motivation than anyone I have ever met in my whole life and he’s doing it because he wants to help raise vital funds and awareness to help beat cancer.
“If it wasn’t for the funding and the money that people like Gary raise to go into cancer research, immunotherapy wouldn’t exist and it wouldn’t be able to work its magic on patients like my mum.”
The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity is working to raise £15 million towards the construction of a specialist hospital in Liverpool city centre, as well as improvements to the Wirral site.
Elspeth Wilson, Fundraising Manager said: “We’re totally bowled over by Gary’s mammoth marathon challenge and can’t quite get our heads round what he has achieved already and what he has planned.
“Thanks to the incredible support of Gary, Lindsay and his family, we’ll be able to take one step closer to transforming cancer care in our region.
“It takes an incredible amount of dedication and hard work to achieve what Gary has in mind and wish him all the best.”
As well as donations, the family are appealing for runners or cyclists to join Gary on his daily marathons.
Supporters have already been turning out to cheer him on during the first five days and he will be getting regular sports massages courtesy of Wigan Athletic Football Club to help him recover from the arduous runs.
Gary has raised almost £8000 so far.
If you can help, please call The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity on 0151 556 5566. Or if you want to donate, see www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gary-morton31