Suffolk fundraiser to run London Marathon for cancer charity after tragic loss of fiancée
A Suffolk man is preparing to run the London Marathon in memory of his late fiancée who died just one month after their engagement.
Dan Turner, of Fornham St Martin, lost his partner Michelle Dring, known as Shelley, to a brain tumour in October 2009 when she was only 24.
When visiting Ms Dring in hospital, Mr Turner was struck by the good work he witnessed by CLIC Sargent supporting young cancer patients and their families.
“I will always remember seeing the patients who were so happy and smiling, even though they were very poorly,” said Mr Turner, who works as a maintenance electrician for Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust at its Hospital Road site in Bury St Edmunds. “It was at this point that I thought if I could help one of these brave kids, it would make a difference.”
The 33-year-old has raised around £13,000 for the charity since Ms Dring’s death by taking on various challenges, and he hopes to add another £2,000 to the pot through the London Marathon.
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He will compete on April 22 alongside his girlfriend Meg Symons, 21, a personal trainer at Bannatyne health club in Bury St Edmunds.
“When I first met Shelley, she was already undergoing chemotherapy and was very surprised I didn’t run a mile when she told me,” Mr Turner said.
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“Because she was such a bubbly, happy, smiley person, it never really sank in that she wasn’t very well.
“We managed to fit in so much stuff in what ended up being a short time together – six months.
“When we were together, the signs were good and her tumour was getting smaller each time we went for a check-up.
“Then all of a sudden things turned bad and she ended up being bed-bound at home.
“I moved in with her and spent every day with her during the last month of her life.”
Ms Dring, who lived with her parents in Holbeach St Johns, near Spalding, was diagnosed with a brain tumour after she started to learn to drive.
Her co-ordination was poor which resulted in her having an eye check-up, where the tumour was discovered.
In a bid to bring in extra funds, Mr Turner and Ms Symons have launched the Team MaD 5k Challenge.
The pair are sending specially made medals to anyone who donates £12 and proves they have run, jogged or walked 5k throughout April.
Participants will be entered into a draw to win a spa day at Bannatyne or a sports supplement goody bag from Grenade.
Anyone interested should email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Facebook page for more information.
To sponsor the couple for the London Marathon, visit: www.justgiving.com/daniel-turner26