A TEENAGER who took up running to help deal with his mum's cancer battle has secured a place in this year's London Marathon. Matthew Wilson, 18, is aiming to raise £2,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support when he runs the world famous race in April. Last year, Matt took on his first two half marathons to raise funds for charities which helped his mum, Claire Elliott-Wilson.
The Cheadle teen gave up football to concentrate on running after finding it helped him clear his mind from worry while his mum underwent intensive cancer treatment.
Claire was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of blood cancer in April 2014.
She immediately had six months of chemotherapy which put her into partial remission in November of that year.
But in 2016, doctors found the cancer had developed in her bone marrow and chemotherapy began again, although this time it proved to be ineffective.
After an autologous transplant, Claire spent three weeks in hospital undergoing more high dosage chemotherapy in a bid to suppress any cancer cells, but further tests showed cancer was still present.
Matthew said: “As a family, we were absolutely devastated with the magnitude of the news and immediate worries followed for our future, but from the start we all knew the importance of maintaining hope.
“Visiting for all of us was hard, to see such a strong woman in so much pain was completely heart-breaking.
“The support from everyone, family and friends, was unbelievable and that’s what got not only my mum through this stage, but each and every one of us around her.”
More chemotherapy was required while the hunt for an allogeneic stem cell donor began and within months, a man in Germany was identified as a match.
After a further four months of alternative chemotherapy, a scan in February 2018 showed no cancer in Claire’s body.
In mid-April the allogeneic stem transplant went ahead at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital and proved to be a success.
Matthew added: “This journey has brought us all closer together than ever before, and my mum’s grit and determination has given her the strength to keep on fighting no matter what comes next.
“Being told that you have cancer does not only affect your health – it also has a large impact on your family, your job and in turn the ability to pay for essentials.
“Macmillan Cancer Support has played a pivotal role for over 100 years in helping people, like my mum, get through cancer.
“Macmillan Cancer Support has enabled my mum and our family to live life as fully as we can and because of that I aim to raise £2,500 running 26.2 miles in London to help support the thousands of families in the same position as mine.
“Competing in the London Marathon at such a young age is an exciting prospect and to do it for a such a great cause makes it even more worthwhile, especially when looking at the difference £2,500 can make in so many peoples’ lives.
“This for me is something I’ve dreamed of doing and now it’s a reality.”
Matthew will tackle the famous race on Sunday, April 28.
Mum Claire said: “It’s a massive step up from the two half marathons he’s done before and I’m incredibly proud of him for taking up such a big challenge in order to raise a huge amount of money for those who need it.”
To support Matthew, donate online at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=matthew-wilson19-London-Marathon&pageUrl=1
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