A STONEHAVEN mother-of-four will run the London marathon later this month as a “thank you” for the treatment her son received during a three year battle with leukaemia.
Angela Craig (44), will take part in the race on April 17, and she will be raising money for charity Children with Leukaemia, a cause which is close to her heart as her son Donald, now eight, was diagnosed with the disease when he was just four years old. Although he is still required to attend regular six-weekly check-ups, his treatment finished last year, and Angela said that her decision to run the marathon was “to say thank you and give a little back.”
She added: “I wanted to say thank you. Thanks you to all those who have gone before us and, without whom, the current treatment of leukaemia in children would not be as successful as it is. Thank you to those who will follow, improving the treatments for the all too many children who still have to walk this path. My personal thank you is for the life of our son Donald, now eight, one of the lucky ones and the marathon is the only way I can think of to emulate the marathon he went through.”
Donald was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in November 2006, and he embarked on three years and eight weeks of chemotherapy. Angela said: “We watched our son endure great pain and suffering as the treatment made him feel worse before it made him feel better. He was tremendously courageous and brave, despite the steroid induced rages!”
Angela, who describes herself as “not a natural runner”, began training for the marathon in September, running a mile and a half. She has since built up her training regime, and last week completed a run of 23 miles. She told the Leader: “It has been the hardest thing I have done, and if I hadn’t been doing it for a charity I think I would have given up. But if it had been easy it wouldn’t have been as worthwhile. Every time I didn’t want to go out running I though of Donald and how he didn’t have a choice during his marathon. That kept me going.”
Angela paid tribute to her husband Dave and children Donald, Poppaea (11), Madeleine (6) and Dougal (2) for their support throughout her trianing. She said: “Thank you to my rock, Dave for allowing me to take the time out to train for this and for volunteering to be training manager, route planner, babysitter and all round good guy! Without him I`d never have been foolish enough to think I could do this!”
Angela said that she hopes to cross the finish line and receive her medal, but she is not concerned about the length of time it will take her, and she is looking forward to enjoying the atmosphere and meeting other runners.
She has already passed her original goal of £1000 sponsorship, raising almost £1800 so far. She added: “Everyone has been so generous and I appreciate every peeny. All the money goes into research for improving the protocol for children with leukaemia. I picked them as a thank you for the fabulous treatment that Donald received. I can’t thank the NHS and doctors in Aberdeen enough”. She said that now she doesn’t have a particular figure in mind and instead just hopes to raise as much money and awareness as possible.
To sponsor Angela you can visit www.justgiving.com/Angela-Craig.