A mum who took up running after twice beating off cancer is ready for another big challenge, her first ever marathon in London on April 24.
Sharon Brooks (47) has previously raised cash for cancer charities.
But her London run is for JDRF, the charity trying to find a cure for diabetes.
Inspiration was all too close to home because Sharon’s niece, Faith Robinson (7), was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when just two-years-old.
Sharon’s sister, Gemma Robinson is Faith’s mum and has so far helped raise £40,000 for the cause with a series of spectacular balls in Spalding.
Sharon said: “I have seen the struggle that my niece and my sister go through every day, and the family, and that’s the reason I want to raise money for JDRF.”
While training for the London Marathon, Sharon has made a new online friend, Jane Kearsey, who is currently living in New York, USA, and will fly to the UK to take part in the run for the same great cause.
Sharon said: “Her parents live in Stamford. Jane’s daughter is diabetic and she’s just had her son tested – it looks like her son will be diagnosed with the same thing.”
The women will meet for the first time at the JDRF pasta party as they “carb up” on the eve of the marathon.
Later in the year Sharon will fly out to New York to meet up with Jane again for October’s Staten Island Half Marathon.
Sharon is married to Ray and they have a son, Cameron (18), and daughters Megan (16) and Lily (14).
She had cancer in 2003 and 2009 and started running soon after her last treatment ended.
“I took up running because I wanted to live a happier, healthier life,” said Sharon. “I have been running for several years, but never at this distance. I just started as everybody else does. You do a bit of running and a bit of walking and, before you know it, you are running properly.”
She’s completed half-marathons before but, so far, 20 miles is the greatest distance she’s covered.
Sharon hopes to complete the London course in five hours or fewer, but her priority is making it a big pay day for JDRF in the hope of ending the miseries endured by diabetics.
She’s raised more than £2,200 and hopes to gain more public support through www.justgiving.com/sharonabrooks
Sharon is inviting all-comers to A Royal Afternoon Tea on Saturday to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. It takes place at Gosberton Methodist Church from 2pm-4pm. Tickets (£7.50) are available from Sharon on 07584 162600.