RUNNING anywhere on February 6 2013 was the furthest thing from my mind.
My beautiful wife Diane had just lost her six-year fight against breast cancer.
After her death, I realised that I had to do something to help others who were going through what Diane and I had.
You see, there is nothing unique about our experience, nothing special.
This heart-breaking scenario, where you are forced to watch a loved one be slowly taken from you, is being played out in families the length and breadth of the UK.
And luckily, the dedicated team at Breast Cancer Care are there to help.
Which is why I’m telling you mine and Diane’s story in the hope you’ll run the Sheffield Half Marathon in aid of this extraordinary charity.
When Diane died, I was in poor health. I weighed nearly 24 stones, had Type 2 diabetes and struggled to get up a flight of stairs. So I decided to get fit.
Now, seven and a half stones lighter, I’m looking forward to running my first marathon in April around the streets of Rotterdam where Diane grew up.
I also started a blog called ‘Running With Diane’ (runningwithdiane.blogspot.co.uk) and for the first time I expressed in public what I had been suffering in private.
This whole experience has transformed my life and now I work on behalf of Diane raising money for Breast Cancer Care.
Breast Cancer Care does amazing work for families affected by this terrible disease. More than 500,000 people are living with a diagnosis of breast cancer. 50,000 more will find out they have it in the next 12 months.
That’s 500,000 living with cancer, getting the kids ready for school with cancer, dashing off to work and grabbing a slice of toast with cancer, getting the evening meals ready with cancer, doing the weekly shop with cancer. There’s never anything you do without cancer casting a cloud over it.
More and more people are beating the disease, but too many still aren’t. They need your help.
That’s why the work of Breast Cancer Care is so important. If you’re running the Sheffield Half Marathon, please run it in aid of Breast Cancer Care. Help them help people like us.
Do it for all the brave and courageous women who are getting through each day under the cloud of this terrible disease.
And for all the brave and courageous women - like Diane – who didn’t make it.
Sheffield Half marathon is on April 6. www.sheffieldmarathon.com