Novice runner dad aims to complete marathon in memory of teenage son

Kevin Cook gears up for his London Marathon challenge in memory of his son Jack. Picture: KEITH MIND

Kevin Cook gears up for his London Marathon challenge in memory of his son Jack. Picture: KEITH MINDHAM - Credit: Archant

A 47-year-old father who has never run any distance before is running 26 miles to raise thousands of pounds for a cancer charity in memory of his son Jack, who died aged 18.

Jack Cook, of Gislingham. Picture: COOK FAMILY

Jack Cook, of Gislingham. Picture: COOK FAMILY - Credit: Archant

Novice runner Kevin Cook, who has never run a marathon before, is already delighted that family and friends have raised nearly £3,000 from two fundraising events in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The latest packed fundraiser in his home community, a quiz with more than 100 people at Gislingham Village Hall, raised £1,250.

Now Mr Cook is taking the fundraising a step further by running the London Marathon on April 22. His goal is £3,000 from the race and he is delighted with a recent donation of £1,000 from the Ichiban sushi manufacturer in Suffolk.

He said: “I know this marathon will be an emotional event for me – I am running in the memory of my son Jack and I can almost hear him saying, ‘You are going to do what?’

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“My name will be on the front of my running top and his name will be on the back. My wife Julie hopes to be at the finish line with the charity.”

Around seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. They need expert treatment and support from the moment they hear the word cancer and the trust is the only charity dedicated to making this happen.

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Mr Cook, of Viking Close, Gislingham, lost his son Jack to leukaemia in February 2015.

The former Stradbroke High pupil was diagnosed when he was just 13 years old after he became ill on a family holiday in America.

Now his father hopes that Jack’s memory will live on through fundraising in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust, supported by Mr Cook’s employers Malthouse Security, based near Diss.

Peter George, owner of Malthouse Security, whose work includes installing cctv cameras, intruder and fire alarms, nominated the Teenage Cancer Trust as its charity of the year. He said: “The loss of Jack was a tragedy that was felt by all of us here and we think it is admirable that Kevin, who admits that he is not a natural runner, is giving up so much time and effort to run the gruelling 26.2mile race.”

To donate go to the family’s giving site.

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