MATT TURNER’S decision to go the extra mile and run the London marathon this weekend in honour of his cousin is a poignant one.
The Guiseley barber is still mourning the loss of 12-year-old Jude Anderton, who died in February after a brave year-long battle with bone cancer.
Yet the hairdresser, who will be 27 on the day of the race, is even more determined to complete the gruelling 26-mile course through the capital.
He’s already raised £3,800 for the Bone Cancer Research Trust – more than his initial £2,500 target.
And the Leeds Rhinos fan is refusing to allow his own leg injury to stand in the way of honouring the joy of his life – Jude.
“I’m due to gave an operation on my knee next month to repair a cartilage and remove a cyst,” he said. “It’s limited my training. I won’t be chasing Sir Mo Farah who is also running his first marathon.
“But the pain I will have suffer is absolutely nothing compared to what Jude went through – and others like him. They’re my motivation.”
Matt, who works at the Just For Men hair salon, is appealing to people to support him via the Superhero Jude page on the JustGiving website.
He decided to run the marathon shortly after his aunt’s son was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – bone cancer – last year and has been overwhelmed by the public’s generosity to date.
“The Bone Cancer Research Trust is completely self-funded,” he added. “There is no Government funding.
“Without public donations, they don’t have anything. And, without public support, they can’t continue their brilliant work tackling this cruel disease.
“If I can get to £5,000, it will be brilliant. Jude was caring and bubbly, always looking out for his younger brothers. This is the least that I can do.”