Wigan dad takes on London marathon in honour of mum's cancer battle
A dad-of-three whose mum died from breast cancer more than 20 years ago ran the London marathon in her memory.
Chris Coleman-Brown, from Standish, was just 17 when his mum Barbara died and wanted to do something to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
He also completed Sunday's race in memory of his wife Jen's mum Carol, who died from cancer two years ago.
Chris, now 39 and an entrepreneur, completed the marathon in four hours 17 minutes.
He joined 1,500 other Macmillan Cancer Support runners in the race after the charity's nurses supported his family.
Chris remembers how hard his mum tried to deal with the effects of treatment and how she tried to make life as normal as possible for him and his younger sister as they grew up in Wiltshire.
He said: “The Macmillan nurses were always there and we felt like we were not on our own, which was so important because it was all so hard for my mum and all of us.
“Treatments back then were so harsh. It was all so difficult. I have never let myself dwell too long on that period, but as a dad now myself and having gone through losing Jen’s mum Carol, it felt the right time to do something to remember and pay tribute to them both."
Chris and Jen, a teacher at Standish High School, have three sons, Harry, 10, and seven-year-old twins Noah and Joseph.
The couple first met on family holidays when they were 16 and stayed in touch, before getting together again when they were 24.
Chris said: “It is lovely that Jen met my mum and I was lucky after I married Jen to have Carol as my mother-in-law. She was such a huge part of our lives. It’s been hard for Jen and us all losing her. She had a cough, which we thought was a common cold and it turned out to be stage four cancer. It was such a shock.
“My fund-raising target is £5,000 which I’d love to reach for everyone’s sake. I trained for it and I gave it everything for our mums and to make our boys proud.”
For every £10 that people donate to Chris’s fund-raising page, he will enter their names into a draw to win a range of Apple products including an iPad, Airpods and Sonos speakers, which have been donated by suppliers to his tech business. The draw closes on November 6.
He said: "I wanted to attract as much sponsorship as possible, so I’m really hoping people will donate what they can, help Macmillan and get themselves the chance of a great prize.”
Macmillan fund-raising manager John Rullo said: “It is incredibly moving to know that Chris wanted to do this for the two mums who raised him and his wife Jen. We are so grateful for all his efforts to help us raise the vital funds we need to be there for people living with cancer.
“At a time where Macmillan’s support is needed more than ever before, we are facing the aftermath of a significant drop in our income as a result of the pandemic. We are doing whatever it takes, through our dedicated Macmillan healthcare professionals and specialist cancer services, to support people living with cancer, but the truth is, we can’t continue to be there for people who need us without support from courageous and generous supporters, like Chris, who are going above and beyond to fund-raise for us. “
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