A Doncaster man is preparing to run his first half marathon to mark the first anniversary of his sister’s death.
Thomas Judge’s younger sister, Jess, lost her long battle against cancer last year when she was just 13-years-old.
On Sunday April 8 Thomas will honour Jess’s memory and mark the first anniversary of her death by running the Asda Foundation Sheffield Half Marathon.
Jess died on the day of the half marathon last year, which was Sunday April 9.
The challenge will be the first half marathon that 21-year-old Thomas has taken on.
He will be raising money for Parents Association of Children with Tumours and Leukaemia, (PACT), which supported Jess and her family during her illness.
Thomas said: “Jess was initially diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia on 8th March 2012, just before her 9th birthday but was successful in fighting this after two-and-a-half years of treatment.
“However, after two years in remission, Jess was diagnosed with a rare ovarian tumour.
“Initially treatment seemed to go well but Jess required a bone marrow transplant, which was carried out thanks to our brother, Steve, being a match.”
Unfortunately, there was a series of complications after the transplant and Jess died in Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Explaining why he wanted to raise as much money as possible for PACT Thomas added: “Through both of Jess’s battles with cancer, PACT provided her, my mum and family with immense support. They brought a smile to her face and made her journey that little easier when it was the hardest for everyone.
“I would like to donate funds raised through this run to PACT so they can continue their brilliant work for other families, and to say thanks for all they did for my sister.
“I have chosen to run the Sheffield Half as this will mark the anniversary of my sister’s death, so it seemed the most fitting.
“Although this makes it difficult and will be a very emotional time, it is also a more positive and meaningful way of marking what is a horrible day for my family.”
To support Thomas in his fundraising mission please go online and visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/runningforjessica
Writing on the page, Thomas added: “Any amount you can give will help, let’s raise as much money as possible for an amazing charity who brought a smile to my beautiful sister. Love you Jess.”
PACT was founded in 1977 with a donation of £113 when eight parents created a support group for families whose children had cancer. The charity runs a house in Sheffield next to the Sheffield Childrens Hospital. To learn more, go to www.pactfriends.co.uk.
Entries for the Asda Foundation Sheffield Half Marathon are now open. You can register youself online at www.runforall.com.