A Spalding man is running the London Marathon in April with his wife as a thank you to those who saved his life after two bouts of cancer.
Paul (50) and Georgie Jones (41), of Carrington Close, will both take on the 26.2-mile course hoping to raise a total of at least £5,500 for Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support respectively.
We’re just going to do the London Marathon together, soak up the atmosphere and raise money for two wonderful charities as a way of saying ‘thank you’ because I genuinely don’t think I’d be here if it wasn’t for Addenbrooke’s and MacmillanPaul Jones, of Spalding
They have been motivated to put their running kits on after Paul survived cancer twice in two years.
Paul, a food production manager, said: “I lived an incredibly normal life, working hard, running regularly and playing golf at weekends.
“But in 2013, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and, after having treatment, I became the fittest I’d ever been at any stage of my life.
“That’s because I was training for the Great Eastern Run (in Peterborough) in October 2015 and getting ready to marry Georgie two months later.
“But in September 2015, just as I was told that I was in remission from the first cancer, I was diagnosed with stomach cancer and had to start my treatment.”
Paul was in the expert hands of specialists at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, who both he and Georgie credit for saving his life.
Georgie, who works for Age UK Boston and South Holland, said: “The staff at Addenbrooke’s were absolutely fantastic and it was almost like Paul was in a family environment, meeting all the other patients and hearing their stories.
“There were no signs before the stomach cancer came on, but because they caught it early, we think that’s why the chemotherapy was so successful.
“Paul’s been clear of cancer for two years, which is fantastic, and so I decided to fundraise for Macmillan whose staff were also great with him.”
A coffee morning held at Calvary Baptist Church in Spalding two weeks ago has set Georgie well on the way to smashing her £3,000 target for Macmillan after it raised more than £2,000.
But Georgie said: “I always watched the London Marathon on TV as a little girl and I just thought ‘I wouldn’t mind having a go at it’.
“So I applied to run for Macmillan and I got the call in August that I’d been given a charity place.
“Since then, I’ve been on an extreme training plan, starting with a three-quarter-mile run and now I’m up to seven-and-a-half miles.
“But on Monday, we found out that Paul had been accepted for a last-minute place to run for Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust.
“Now, we’re getting up at 6am to go running together before work and we can do longer runs at weekends.”
Georgie has set a tentative target of finishing the race in at least five-and-a-half hours, but the fundraising is the bigger priority.
Paul said: “Georgie will definitely do it because she’s an all-or-nothing person and anything she turns her hands to, she does it like clockwork.
“We’re just going to do the London Marathon together, soak up the atmosphere and raise money for two wonderful charities as a way of saying ‘thank you’ because I genuinely don’t think I’d be here if it wasn’t for Addenbrooke’s and Macmillan.”
To sponsor Paul and Georgie, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/georgiejones1976