Uncle preparing to run three marathons in three weeks in memory of nephew from Ely area who had cancer
PUBLISHED: 15:37 06 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:37 06 April 2018
An uncle left "heartbroken beyond words" by the death of his nephew will run three marathons in three weeks to raise money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH).
EACH cared for Douglas Wright, four, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma – a type of cancer mainly found in children – in October 2016.
The charity also supported his parents Henry and Jane as well as eight-year-old sister Clara, who live near Ely.
Barny, Henry’s brother, said: “When Douglas was diagnosed with neuroblastoma he started chemotherapy treatment at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
“He battled through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy and was an absolute trooper through all of this, and the treatment he received was absolutely fantastic.
“Last September, an MRI scan showed a relapse and Douglas started on a new trial of treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
“Then, shortly after I started training, we found out Douglas hadn’t responded and that his condition was terminal.
“In the early hours of February 15, Douglas died in his parents’ arms. He was at home, surrounded by love.
“I’m heartbroken beyond words, but so thankful to have had the privilege of knowing him and the honour of calling him family.
“The strength and character Douglas and his family showed right until the end will continue to inspire me in everything I do for the rest of my life.”
Barny will try to clock up 78.6 miles (126.5km) by running the Paris Marathon on Sunday (April 8), Brighton Marathon on Sunday April 15 and London Marathon on Sunday April 22.
The 36-year-old has been training by running 5k three to four times a week, in addition to long weekend runs in Epping Forest.
Barny, who took up running 10 years ago after his dad ran a marathon, admitted “I couldn’t live with him being fitter than me”.
He has since run six marathons – London twice, Paris twice, Brighton and Essex – raising thousands of pounds for charities including CLIC Sargent and Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
This time he is raising money for EACH. He added: “As well as the amazing NHS teams, Douglas and his family were being supported by EACH, that does vital work with children like Douglas across East Anglia.”
Barny hopes to raise at least £10,000 for EACH and donations can be made at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fordouglas.
Barny is one of four runners with an EACH London Marathon spot. He will be joined in by others who won places in the public ballot.
EACH cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, as well as Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, and supports their families.
It has to raise almost £6 million a year to run its service and was helped in fundraising last year by Douglas, Clara, Henry and Jane, who took part in EACH’s Ely Colour Dash and collected more than £900 in sponsorship.