Sophie set to run in memory of friend

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The six-year anniversary of the death of her friend has inspired a Dronfield resident to take on the challenge of running the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon for the first time.

Sophie Marshall, 25, is preparing to take on the gruelling 26.2 mile distance in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.

Sophie who began training in January will be one of 35,000 other runners heading to the start line on April 23, and will also be part of a team of 160 runners who form ‘Team Teenage Cancer Trust’.

Sophie was inspired to hit the road and take on one of the world’s best known challenges for Teenage Cancer Trust after losing her childhood friend, Eddie, to a brain tumour in June 2011. Eddie was just 19 years-old.

Sophie said: “This year marks six years since my wonderful friend Eddie lost his battle to cancer, and not a single day has passed where I’ve not thought of him. When Eddie was diagnosed he received his chemotherapy treatment at the Teenage Cancer Trust Unit in Sheffield. This was followed by a nine-hour operation to remove the tumour in April 2011.

“Sadly, just a few months later, in June, a secondary tumour was found but this time nothing could be done. Instead of going to a hospice and as being at home would have been too difficult he went back to the Teenage Cancer Trust unit where he stayed until he lost his battle.

“His family told me just what an absolute god send the unit was to them and provided a place where they could spend the last few special weeks with Eddie, as well as him being looked after and remaining comfortable. 

“The loss of Eddie hit me hard but I’ve tried to make something positive out of a negative situation. Six years ago I was an unfit 19 year old girl who struggled to run 100 metres to the end of the road, today I have not only raced in 5ks, 10ks and half marathons but I actually consider myself a runner but I’ve swapped weekends on the town fuelled by alcohol and takeaways for pavements and pasta. 

“To be running a marathon for a charity which has such a big place in my heart is my marathon dream come true.”

Sophie has raised £4,000 so far but hopes to raise £10,000.

For more information or to donate visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SophieMarshall13.