Sunderland dad-of-three diagnosed with terminal cancer sets his sights on running the London Marathon
A Sunderland dad with incurable cancer is aiming to run the London Marathon and raise money for a children’s charity.
Dad-of-three Chris Johnson from High Barnes was sadly diagnosed in December 2019 with a Gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST), a rare form of cancer which affects the digestive system.
Chris had the tumour removed in January last year however it had already spread to his liver and doctors have confirmed that his condition is incurable.
The news devastated the 41-year-old’s wife Lucy and their three young children Luke, eight, Molly, seven and Nancy, four, however Chris has wanted to do something positive to boost everyone’s spirits.
Chris, a keen runner, is now setting his sights on running the London Marathon for a children’s cancer charity.
Chris said: “My medication was switched just before Christmas which slows the spread of the cancer so I’ve been feeling the most fit and healthy that I’ve been for a long time.
"I just want to do something positive, I’ve ran the Great North Run before so I’ve teamed up with the charity, Children with Cancer UK to run it this year for them.
"I also put in for the London Marathon as I think it will be my last chance to do it and was initially rejected but the charity have helped me get a place so over the last month or so, I’ve been ramping up my training to run longer distances.
"It was also important to me to choose a children’s charity as I know how difficult it is as a fully grown adult to go through cancer treatment so I can’t imagine what it would actually be like for a child.”
Chris doesn’t know how long he has left but is hoping to spend as much time as possible with his family before his illness becomes too much for him.
He added: “I’m the same as everyone else, I want lockdown to end so I can get back out and do things with my family, I’m hoping that we will all be able to go on holiday at some point.”Some days are harder than others, there are times where I do look at the clock and know that I do probably only have a few years left but I just try to focus on the positive things in life.
"At the moment, the kids are too young to fully understand the significance of what I’ve got so they don’t really ask too many questions, they just know that I have cancer, it’s become a normal thing for them.
"I don’t have much of an extensive bucket list, running the London Marathon is one of the things on there but for the most part, I just want to spend as much time as possible with my family.”
You can follow Chris’ journey on Twitter @Gotthegistofit as he trains for the London Marathon and if you wish to donate to his fundraiser for Children with Cancer UK, then you can do so by clicking here.