Tendring/Langenhoe: Runner Sophie Berryman takes on London Marathon one month after death of fiance Donny Patel
A teacher is running this year’s London Marathon in memory of her fiance who died just one month ago.
Sophie Berryman, 27, is taking on the 26.2mile route to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Her fiancé Donny Patel lost his fight with bowel cancer on March 13, aged just 33, after battling the disease since May 2012.
Sophie, who lives in the village of Tendring, will also run in memory of her father, James, who died of small cell lung cancer in late July last year.
She said: “Unfortunately Donny lost his fight against cancer and I also lost my dad.
“We never saw my dad’s diagnosis coming and it all happened very fast so it was an incredible shock to everyone.
“But Donny and my dad are now my inspiration to run. I have a picture of them both on my running vest and I hope that will help me get through.
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“Our family has been through a war with this terrible disease so Cancer Research UK is very close to my heart. By raising money through the London Marathon, I want to help the charity ensure more people have the treatment they need.”
The Langenhoe Community Primary School teacher ran the Colchester Race for Life last year but admits running a marathon is a major challenge for her, especially as her training has been hampered by losing Donny so recently.
She said: “The London Marathon is one of the most exciting running events in the world and I’m looking forward to being part of it.
“I used to do cross country at school but I’ve never done a marathon.
“I haven’t done as much training as I had planned to but I’m still hoping to make it round in four to four-and-a-half hours.
“It will be tough but it’s motivating to know the money I raise will help bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
“I want to do this not just for Donny or my dad, but for everyone with cancer.”
Sophie has already raised £2,400 in sponsorship.
To donate to her appeal visit her sponsorship page.
Sophie and Donny also set up a Facebook page called Do It For Donny, a community for sharing thoughts and fundraising ideas for Cancer Research UK, the St Helena Hospice and Mind.
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