Wigan mum finishes year of challenges for her dad

Joanne Platt, right, celebrates completing the London marathon with Julie Barton, leader of Julies Joggers, and James Pentland
Joanne Platt, right, celebrates completing the London marathon with Julie Barton, leader of Julies Joggers, and James Pentland

A Wigan mum is celebrating the end of a year of physical challenges to raise money for the hospital treating her terminally-ill father.

Joanne Platt, 36, wanted to do something to support The Christie in honour of her dad Kevin Morley.

She has now completed 20 challenges in just over a year, including half marathons and a walk up Snowdon, culminating with the London marathon.

Joanne, who lives in Pemberton, said: “My dad got diagnosed with cancer nearly seven years ago and was told he wouldn’t reach the age of 60. He reached 60 and as a thank you to The Christie, I decided to take on a year of challenges to raise as much as I could for them.

“I have been doing everything from 10ks to my first half marathon to the three peaks challenge and the Wigan Bike Ride, anything really that came up. Every weekend I think I had something on.

“I thought I would chance it and enter the London marathon ballot. I didn’t get in but The Christie offered me a charity place and I agreed to do it.”

Mr Morley, now 62, from Appley Bridge, was diagnosed with kidney cancer and told his condition was terminal.

Joanne said: “When he was first diagnosed they said it was the largest tumour they had ever seen. He’s such a fighter though and is very positive.”

And she believes the treatment he has received at The Christie has been vital in his fight for life.

“The Christie has kept him alive. He goes there every three months for regular chemo. He had a heart attack in October so he’s had it quite tough really,” she said.

Joanne, who is married to Steven and has two daughters, started running around four years ago to take part in the Wigan 10k.

She is now a keen runner and a member of Julie’s Joggers running group in Ashton.

So it was perhaps no surprise that many of her challenges were running races, including the Wigan 10k, Lancaster half marathon, Palma 10k and the virtual Wigan half marathon.

She said: “The London marathon was my biggest achievement. I had an amazing day. The heat was unbearable - it was 24 degrees - but the crowds and the support I got from everybody was fantastic. There were people from The Christie there to show their support which was really nice.”

Other events included the inaugural Wigan Bike Ride and the three peaks challenge. Every step of the way, her thoughts were with her father as he continues to battle his illness.

She said: “I told my dad that he is an inspiration but he says I’m his inspiration.” Joanne, who works as a business development executive for Jockey

Club venues, including Haydock Park Racecourse, has raised more than £3,290 for The Christie, passing her £3,000 target. She said: “I’m really pleased. People are still donating, which is great. It’s amazing. Without the support of my family and friends and work colleagues, I wouldn’t have got there.”

To make a donation to The Christie, click here