Leigh's run to help cancer sufferers

AFTER watching seven of his friends die from cancer, one marathon runner has today revealed why he could not sit back and do nothing.

AFTER watching seven of his friends die from cancer, one marathon runner has today revealed why he could not sit back and do nothing.

Leigh Thomas has seen much heartache recently but he has also seen the amazing difference that the support from the Somersham Ward in Ipswich Hospital, which cares for people fighting cancer, and St Elizabeth Hospice, which provides care for terminally ill patients, made to the lives of his friends.

So he is determined to raise much-needed cash by completing the London Marathon to help more cancer sufferers fight the disease.

Mr Thomas, of Shrubland Avenue, Ipswich, said: “Cancer is a horrid disease and everyone is touched by its devastating effects so I would like to be able to help make a difference.

“People I knew who died from the disease were treated at both Somersham Ward and St Elizabeth Hospice and in both places they received amazing quality of care.

“The staff picked you up if you were down and made sure they also supported family and friends because they realise what a traumatic time it is for everyone.

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“Once the chief specialist in Somersham Ward actually came round to give us a cup of tea.

“So I am hoping to collect around £1,700 to share between the Somersham Ward and St Elizabeth Hospice.”

When he is running the marathon on April 23 Mr Thomas, a 49-year-old mobile crane operator, admits he will be particularly thinking about his close friend Ian Agnew who supported him from the sidelines when he ran in 2003 but has since died from cancer.

Mr Thomas added: “It is very sad to see people you care about die, and it certainly gives me motivation to keep running if it gets a bit tough.

“And I know the money I raise will be going to two really worthwhile causes.”

To support Leigh Thomas visit www.justgiving.com/leighthomas.

Weblinks: www.ipswichhospital.org.uk; www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk

Are you running the marathon for a good cause? Contact Rebecca Lefort on 01473 324802 or e-mail rebecca.lefort@eveningstar.co.uk.

Somersham Ward, Ipswich Hospital

Oncology and haematology patients are cared for on Somersham Ward.

Patients are admitted for a variety of reasons such as chemotherapy, stem cell transplantation, radiotherapy, symptom control and palliative care.

St Elizabeth Hospice, Foxhall Road, Ipswich

St Elizabeth Hospice provides care for patients who have a terminal illness and their families.

Nurses provide of physical, psychological, social and spiritual care for patients with an advanced illness, where the disease is no longer responding to treatment.

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