Colchester father to fulfil promise to dying daughter by taking on London Marathon

Chris and Demi Wright

Chris and Demi Wright - Credit: Archant

A Colchester father who made a bedside promise to his dying daughter that he would run the London Marathon is preparing to take on the challenge.

Chris and Demi when she was young

Chris and Demi when she was young - Credit: Archant

Chris Wright’s youngest daughter Demi died of a rare type of cancer called adenocarcinoma in February 2016, aged just 22.

Two months earlier she had been taken to Colchester Hospital with severe back pain.

Medics originally through Demi may be pregnant but tests later revealed she had a large tumour on her liver which was making her body produce pregnancy-like hormones.

She was rushed to a specialist unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital but died three weeks later.

Chris and Demi at the hospital

Chris and Demi at the hospital - Credit: Archant


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Sitting at her bedside throughout, Mr Wright told his daughter he had planned to take on the London Marathon for Cancer Research in her honour.

Demi, who worked at Fenwicks in Colchester, encouraged him to take it on.

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Mr Wright, 53, said: “I spent a lot of time with Demi, staying with her most nights at the hospital and we talked about lots of things.

“I said to her I was thinking of doing the marathon to get something positive out of everything that was happening.

Chris with Demi

Chris with Demi - Credit: Archant

“She told me I should do it and so I said I would run it for her.”

Mr Wright, a training officer in the army, and his wife Roz, 58, said it was Demi who kept the family strong during her time in hospital.

“We’d gone from thinking we could be grandparents to the awful shock that our daughter had a tumour,” said Mr Wright.

“We were so confused about what was happening as everything was moving so fast and we didn’t want to leave her side.

Chris Wright running the Colchester Half Marathon

Chris Wright running the Colchester Half Marathon - Credit: Archant

“Once doctors broke the news we then just assumed she would have chemotherapy but they sat us down and told us that it wasn’t possible as the cancer had travelled to her vital organs and that it was now terminal.

“We fell apart but Demi was amazing.

“When the doctors told her the cancer was terminal she patted her hospital bed and said, ‘Come and sit here dad.’

“Then she gave me a big hug and told me that it was all going to be ok.”

Chris after Colchester Half Marathon

Chris after Colchester Half Marathon - Credit: Archant

Mr Wright will join 40,000 marathon runners on Sunday, April 22.

Since Demi’s death, the family have raised more than £20,000 for Cancer Research UK.

To support Mr Wright’s challenge see here.

CRUK running top

CRUK running top - Credit: Archant

Chris holding hands with Demi at the hospital

Chris holding hands with Demi at the hospital - Credit: Archant

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