St Neots man Iain Holiday is taking on a gruelling running challenge to raise money for a cancer charity.
Iain, aged 26, from Howitts Gardens, in Eynesbury, will run four marathons in just four weeks and he hopes to raise a minimum of £4,000 for Cancer Research UK.
His first run is in Manchester is on April 8; he then moves on to Brighton on April 15; London on April 22 and Hamburg on April 29.
Iain, a project manager, decided to raise money and awareness for the charity after his partner, Helen West, was diagnosed with breast cancer in February at the age of 25. Helen has recently finished a course of chemotherapy and has been part of a cancer treatment trial at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge. She will undergo a double mastectomy next month after tests showed she is a carrier for the BRCa gene. The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes greatly increases a woman’s chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Researchers have recently identified more than 100 new gene variants associated with an increased risk of breast, prostate and ovarian cancer.
“Worrying while breast cancer is common, undergoing cancer treatment at this age has a knock-on affect with the ability to have children as well as other side effects,” said Iain.
“During all of the tests we also found out that Helen is a BRCa gene carrier. This means if she is able to have children there is a high risk of passing this gene on and the child developing cancer at some point in their life. It is also means that while Helen will spend this whole year undergoing treatments and operations she has a two to three chance every year of the cancer returning.
“In an effort to prevent other people having to go through the pain and stress of this, I have set out a stupid challenge to run four marathons in four weeks to help us all come closer to defeating cancer.”
Iain, who has been running for two years, will start his training in January and hopes to achieve a personal best time for the first marathon in Manchester, but he says after that it will be “just a case of surviving”.
“I would like to do well for the first one, but after that I am not expecting too much.”
INFO: If you would like to support Iain’s fundraising effort, go to: www.virginmoneygiving.com/iainholiday.