On Sunday morning, 40,000 running enthusiasts will line up in Greenwich Park, London ready to take on one of the world major marathons. For the first time ever Cure Leukaemia will be represented in the Virgin Money London Marathon, following two local fundraisers gaining entries to this year’s prestigious race.
The 26.2 mile course will take in some of London’s most iconic landmarks and there are two very special runners set to run in the red and white of Cure Leukaemia.
Piyush Mistry will run his first ever full marathon for Cure Leukaemia after seeing first-hand the work of the charity through his employer, Deloitte Birmingham, who have been the official charity partner of Cure Leukaemia for the past two years.
Piyush’s fundraising for the race, for which he hopes to exceed £2,000, will be added to over £60,000 that has already been donated by Deloitte Birmingham since the partnership began in 2013.
Piyush spoke about his challenge ahead, “In what seems like a moment of madness earlier this year I signed up to run the Virgin Money London Marathon!
Being my first ever marathon, I am really excited by the prospect of taking part in such a huge event and very much looking forward to the challenge of completing 26.2miles.
The training however, has been rather painful.
Long training runs on very cold Sunday mornings through the winter months have not been easy!
So why am I doing this? It’s two fold. Firstly, it’s a personal challenge to strive for something I didn’t believe I could ever do. Secondly, through the opportunity I have been given I’m hoping to raise vital funds for Cure Leukaemia and raise awareness of the fantastic work they are doing.
The charity are working hard in trying to double the number of patients treated, double the capacity for clinical trials on offer, whilst looking to potentially leverage in excess of £100 million of free drugs for patients battling blood cancer – all of this, right here in Birmingham. Having seen some of their work at a local level I am really inspired by what they do, and hope that the money I raise through this Marathon will go towards saving lives of those who suffer from Leukaemia”
To donate to Piyush’s fundraising page and help him smash his target, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PiyushMistry
Joining Piyush in Sunday’s London Marathon is former Aston Villa and England footballer, Lee Hendrie. Lee has been affiliated with Cure Leukaemia since he became an ambassador for the Club Legends Cup football tournament that took place in July 2014. The talented midfielder, who made over 250 appearances for Aston Villa, was inspired to take on the famous 26 mile challenge after meeting some of Cure Leukaemia’s fantastic patients and fundraisers at the charity’s annual dinner in October this year.
Lee said, "When I saw some of the amazing people who give so much time and effort to raise money for Cure Leukaemia in October it really inspired me to look into how I can do more to help. I heard the charity had a place for the Virgin Money London Marathon and I decided to go for it!"
Lee, like many in footballing community, became aware of the work Cure Leukaemia support after former Aston Villa Captain Stiliyan Petrov was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in 2012.
"After Stan was diagnosed it really raised awareness of leukaemia in the football community and throughout 2014 I got to know the team at Cure Leukaemia and the amazing work they do to support the doctors and nurses across the Midlands who helped Stan. I hope that fans of all clubs will unite and get behind me to help raise lots of money for the charity because I know it will directly help patients battling this terrible disease."
To donate to Lee’s fundraising page and support the work of Cure Leukaemia, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LeeHendrie
WATCH: Lee Hendrie talks about his London Marathon challenge ahead
Cure Leukaemia's £1m Centre Appeal 2017