Alburgh woman runs marathon in memory of the two loved ones her family has lost to pancreatic cancer
In August, a woman will run her first marathon – inspired by the memory of her father and step-father.
Melanie Tyerman, of Low Road in Alburgh, decided to take up her late father’s hobby of running to raise money to fight the illness which has struck her family twice.
Having lost her father, David, to pancreatic cancer in 2008, aged 60, her step-father, Gerry Gregory, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August of last year, dying in October, aged 58.
The 47-year-old, who is married to husband Erik, said: “I signed up to the London Marathon while watching it last year on TV.
“My step-father was diagnosed a few months later in August, then, two weeks after his death in October, I found out I’d got a place on the Pancreatic Cancer UK team.”
Despite this double-tragedy, Mrs Tyerman is determined to remain positive.
“I cried for two days after that – it was so overwhelming,” she said. “But there has to be a silver lining, and being accepted on to the team to raise money for the charity – that is it.”
Speaking about her biological father’s journey into running, she said: “He started while he was working in the Sahara desert.
“He had a bet with a friend about giving up smoking and whether he could run a mile in a certain time. He went on to run the London Marathon in 1985 and 1987.
“He spent 10 years running. After he died, I counted up his medals and he had more than 50.
“I think dad would be proud [to know I’ve signed up], but more shocked than anything else.
“I have my costume for it. I’ll be running in my purple unicorn outfit, because I’ve got a thing about unicorns.”
Mrs Tyerman, who has three children, Lucy, 25, Nicholas, 23, and Michael, 21, was due to run the London Marathon in April, however, with the world’s most famous street race delayed until October at the earliest, she has decided to stage a solo event instead.
The improvised circuit will see her attempt a full 26.2 miles around the roads of Alburgh on August 30.
Having set a fundraising of target of £2,500 for Pancreatic Cancer UK, Mrs Tyerman is currently one third of the way to her goal, with £840 raised so far.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to her fundraising effort can do so by searching for her by name at www.justgiving.com.
More by this authorCraig Bradshaw
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