Newsletter Signup x

Cancer survivor leads street marathon for 2.6 Challenge

In an incredible display of neighbourly spirit, 26 households on Elmgrove Road in Weybridge, Surrey took on a shared marathon on 26 April to commemorate what would have been one resident’s London Marathon race day, if not for the coronavirus pandemic.

26 April 2020

Matthew Thomas

The event was part of the national 2.6 Challenge, which is raising much needed funds for charities across the UK. Twenty-six Elmgrove Road households ran one mile on Sunday to make up the marathon distance of 26.2 miles and raised more than £5000 for childhood cancer research charity Children with Cancer UK.

The idea came about after 48-year-old cancer survivor and father of two, Matthew Thomas told neighbours of plans to tackle the marathon in his small garden, rather than letting his training miles go to waste.

The community spirit has just blown me away – my neighbours all came together to support me, and the charity. Although there was a bit of sadness that the London Marathon couldn’t go ahead yesterday because of coronavirus, seeing the whole community come together like this was definitely a silver lining.

Matthew says he chose to support Children with Cancer UK after his personal experience with thyroid cancer and because as a father himself, he couldn’t imagine children suffering from the disease.

The work that this charity does to support families affected by childhood cancer and funding of research to find better and less toxic treatments for childhood cancers was a source of extra motivation for everyone – it’s such a worthwhile cause. It’s been amazing to see donations flooding in. We’ve raised over £5000 for the charity now.

The street marathon began around 10am, with household groups adhering to social distancing guidelines during their one-mile runs. Matthew ran the last 1.2 miles to complete the marathon.

Children with Cancer UK CEO Mark Brider says:

I would like to thank Matthew and the residents of Elmgrove Road for taking part in this innovate challenge and raising much needed funds for childhood cancer research. Unfortunately mass participation events such as the Virgin Money London Marathon on which we rely to raise vital funds for research are postponed or cancelled but people can still help fight childhood cancer with fundraising initiatives such as The 2.6 Challenge.

Support Matthew

For more information and to take part in your own 2.6 Challenge click here. Children with Cancer UK is calling for fundraisers to take part in The 2.6 Challenge in order to raise money for childhood cancer research. The event began on Sunday 26th April and lasts throughout the week. Around £5 million has been raised by charities across the UK.

 

Editors’ Notes

Children with Cancer UK’s press office

E: media@childrenwithcancer.org.uk

T: 0207 404 0808 M: 07 795 956 342

About Children with Cancer UK

Children with Cancer UK is the leading national charity dedicated to research into childhood cancer.

We fund research into the causes and treatment of childhood cancers and provide support for families affected by childhood cancer. We have accelerated breakthroughs to improve childhood cancer survival rates and find kinder, more effective treatments with fewer toxic side effects. This ground-breaking research, which would otherwise go unfunded, saves the lives of children with cancer.  Children with Cancer UK receives no government funding and relies entirely on the generosity of donations from supporters.

About childhood cancer and Children with Cancer UK’s impact

Every day in the UK, 12 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer.

Fifty years ago, only 30% of children with leukaemia survived, and for most other forms of childhood cancer survival rates were even lower. Today, thanks to our supporters and the dedication of visionary researchers like those we fund, more than 80% of young patients can be successfully treated. More vital research is needed though as there are still a number of cancers affecting children and young people with low survival rates and life-limiting side effects. Cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.