Do you know someone running in the London Marathon?

Adam Williams and Noah. Picture: SARAH WILLIAMS

Adam Williams and Noah. Picture: SARAH WILLIAMS - Credit: Archant

‘Charity champion’ Gina Long honours all those pounding the streets of the capital for good causes

Pascal Canevet – running for Sarcoma UK. Picture: KARINE CANEVET

Pascal Canevet running for Sarcoma UK. Picture: KARINE CANEVET - Credit: Archant

With the London Marathon tomorrow, there are so many great stories and reasons why people have chosen to run. Amongst them is my dear friend Pascal Canevet, owner and head chef at Maison Bleue, Bury St Edmunds, who is running for Sarcoma UK, having seen my daughter Ali diagnosed with sarcoma cancer at just 23 years old. Sarcoma UK is the only cancer charity focussed on all types of sarcoma.

Another friend running this year, by accident I might add, is Tom Gee. Tom put his name down after a few pints of ale and is taking on the challenge in aid of The YANA Project, supporting those in farming and rural trades in Norfolk and Suffolk with their mental health.

Tom says: “I was 18 stone when I started this adventure and after lots of training I’m still 18 stone but can run quite a long way, albeit quite slowly.”

Mother and daughter Juliet and Gigi. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Mother and daughter Juliet and Gigi. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Archant

Adam Kizis is running for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. He says: “My inspiration for running for this charity is the incredible bond a work colleague has

with her hearing dog Pebbles.

It’s so heart-warming to see how they interact with each other; her life would not be the same without him.”

Adam Kizis, running for Hearing Dogs. Picture: ADAM KIZIS

Adam Kizis, running for Hearing Dogs. Picture: ADAM KIZIS - Credit: Archant

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Adam is hoping to raise £1,500 to help train dogs to change more lives. In addition, he prepared every question for Jo Allserbrook, who hosted a quiz as part of her London Marathon fundraising last week.

There is no bond comparable to the one shared by a mother and daughter. It can survive all sorts of tests and in the case of Juliet, 49, and her daughter Gigi, 18, it can also survive a gruelling 26.2-mile run around London.

I am so inspired by Juliet Hanka, who has had to overcome all sorts of challenges to be at the starting line for this year’s marathon. A mum of five, juggling life as a mature student, Juliet has also defied orders from doctors who said she should not be running, having suffered from a stress-fractured hip and chronic back pain.

Peter Dawes – a charity’s first marathon runner. Picture: PETER DAWES

Peter Dawes a charitys first marathon runner. Picture: PETER DAWES - Credit: Archant

However, she had promised Gigi they would complete a marathon together once Gigi turned 18 – this, paired with her emotional ties to the Ormiston Families charity, where she has been a volunteer for over a year, has given her the strength to try to reach the finish line.

They are hoping to raise £4,800 for Ormiston Families, who support children, young people and mothers who have had children removed from their care.

Peter Dawes from Ipswich is running his first London Marathon to raise money for Inspire Suffolk. This will be his second challenge for the charity, after their Strictly Come Dancing fundraiser in 2015.

Annabel James is running for RABI. Picture: WILLIAM WRINCH

Annabel James is running for RABI. Picture: WILLIAM WRINCH - Credit: Archant

As Inspire Suffolk’s first marathon runner, Peter says: “I have witnessed the great work that they do offering opportunities to the young people of Suffolk, who for whatever reason may be experiencing severe disadvantages and social instability.”

Please consider sponsoring Peter. Search ‘Peter Dawes’ on Virgin Money Giving to pledge.

Another running the marathon, for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, is Annabel James. She grew up on a farm on the Suffolk/Essex border, knowing how hard farmers work to put food on the nation’s tables.

At the RSM Easter Bake Sale. The group includes Kieran Horgan, Terry Butcher, Mark Gaywood and the w

At the RSM Easter Bake Sale. The group includes Kieran Horgan, Terry Butcher, Mark Gaywood and the winners. Picture: JADE PERRY - Credit: Archant

RABI’s work offers financial aid to farmers struggling to pay bills in times of illness or who require training to help grow their businesses and develop skills.

Annabel says: “There is a fantastic farming community out there. The support I have received from #clubhectare and local machinery dealers such as Thurlow Nunn Standen and Massey Ferguson, along with support from friends and family, has been amazing.” She held a Wild West Hoedown as one of her fundraising activities, raising nearly £1,500. Please consider donating by visiting

My final “good luck” for tomorrow is for Adam Williams, running his second marathon for son Noah, who was diagnosed with autism at three years old.

Adam is raising funds for The National Autistic Society, the UK’s leading charity for those who suffer from autism and their families, providing support when they need it most.

He says: “My inspiration to train hard comes from Noah. The hardest bit is the training, but the reason for completing the run is what is most important – and, for The National Autistic Society, it is raising awareness.”

Remarkable women take part in a charity walk on Sunday June 10 in aid of Wellbeing of Women and Suffolk Mind. Participants have the option of a 26-mile walk or a 13-mile walk. Funds go towards research into the effects of the menopause and women’s mental health

If you are unable to take part in the walk, please consider helping out at water stations and with collection buckets. To sponsor these fantastic women, visit

I was a guest at an Easter Bake Sale at RSM Bury St Edmunds. The culinary talent was fantastic. To make the morning even more special, they invited 21-year-old Kieran Horgan, who they have been fundraising for since last year, through my charity GeeWizz.

Kieran, along with Terry Butcher, ex-England football legend, and Mark Gaywood, GeeWizz chairman, judged the cakes. Alison Moulton walked away with first prize, with Clare Burgess second.

It was a pleasure to see the RSM team greet Kieran, who suffers from quadriplegic cerebral palsy, as he has just received a new electric wheelchair partially funded by RSM’s fantastic efforts.

Between the cake sale and tombola the RSM CSR team raised £665.78. Well done to all for donning an apron to raise funds for local families.

Please share your charity stories. Email details and a photo to: Follow me on Twitter @geewizzgee1

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