Kingsthorpe man runs London Marathon for charity that got his family through 'the toughest times of their lives'
A Northampton man, who watched both parents battle with cancer, says he is determined to give something back to those who helped their fight.
Richard Bolch is one of more than 50,000 people taking part in the London Marathon on April 23 and one of 800 that will be running for MacMillan Cancer Support.
Now Richard, 35, wants to give something back to the cancer nurses who helped his parents through their ordeal.
He said: "Through the dark times both parents went through, they both spoke so highly of the Macmillan nurses at Kettering General Hospital and those that visited them at home to care for them post-treatment. It was a no-brainer to run for Macmillan.
"They helped my family get through the toughest times of their lives and in turn this helped me and my family to cope with the situation. This is a way of me thanking Macmillan for everything they have done for my family."
Richard's father was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008, and started treatment right away.
The marathon runner said: "My father was in the same room for five months on a semi-isolation ward. He had a gruelling course of chemotherapy. My wife was pregnant at the time and my father wanted to be fit enough to push the buggy. It was his motivation and it worked."
Richard says his father was just starting to get stronger when he was hit by another body blow.
His mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"It seemed hugely unfair for both of my parents to be diagnosed with cancer," said Richard. "I was angry, but they both just played the hand they had been dealt and got on with it. She battled, as my father did, with huge dedication to getting better. My mother took strength from the many nurses who visited her at home, tirelessly performing the tasks needed."
So far, Richard has raised £600 for MacMillan, and has two more fundraising events scheduled this month.
"I am really looking forward to the next month and slightly apprehensive about it too," he said. "Macmillan have been fantastic throughout and through social media made me feel part of the team!"
Helen Hancock, regional challenge manager for Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "We’re so grateful to Richard and all of our Team Macmillan runners taking on the London Marathon this year. By 2030 an estimated four million people will be living with cancer in the UK and we want to make sure no one faces this alone. We wouldn’t be able to provide our services without people like Richard taking on these challenges for us. We can’t wait to get out on the course and cheer everyone on as a huge thank you for all their hard work!"
If you would like to donate to Richard’s Just Giving page, visit www.justgiving.com/Richbolch