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Dan runs London Marathon for a charity close to his heart
09/04/2018

An NHS electrician from near Bury St Edmunds is hoping to raise £2,000 for a leading cancer charity by taking part in this month's London Marathon.

Ever since his fiancée Michelle Dring (known as "Shelley") died as a result of a brain tumour in October 2009, aged 24, just one month after they had become engaged, Dan Turner has been raising money for CLIC Sargent, a cancer charity for children, young people and their families.

So far Dan, who is 33 and lives in Fornham St Martin, has raised a total of about £13,000 for the charity and is hoping to increase that by at least another £2,000 as a result of the London Marathon on 22 April.

"I have seen what an amazing job the charity does to support children and young adults who have cancer and also the families and friends of these brave young people," he said.

"I first became aware of CLIC Sargent when I went to Addenbrooke's with Shelley for her chemotherapy. They have a special unit where young cancer patients can go to relax before treatment.

"I will always remember seeing the patients who were so happy and smiling, even though they were very poorly. It was at this point that I thought if I could help one of these brave kids, it would make a difference."

Dan, who works as a maintenance electrician for the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust at its Hospital Road site in Bury St Edmunds, will run the marathon with his girlfriend Meg Symons, 21, a personal trainer at the town's Bannatyne health club.

He said: "When I first met Shelley, she was already undergoing chemotherapy and was very surprised I didn't run a mile when she told me.

"Because she was such a bubbly, happy, smiley person, it never really sank in that she wasn't very well. We managed to fit in so much stuff in what ended up being a short time together – six months.

"When we were together, the signs were good and her tumour was getting smaller each time we went for a check-up. Then all of a sudden things turned bad and she ended up being bed-bound at home. I moved in with her and spent every day with her during the last month of her life."

Shelley, who lived with her parents in Holbeach St Johns, near Spalding, was diagnosed with a brain tumour as the indirect result of starting to learn to drive. Her co-ordination was poor which resulted in her having an eye check-up, leading to the discovery of her brain tumour.

Before she and Dan met, she had to give up university because her illness and treatment meant she often felt exhausted.

Dan completed the 2014 London Marathon in 3 hrs 52 minutes, raising about £2,500 for CLIC Sargent. He has also run two half marathons and various obstacle courses for the charity, done skydives and climbed Kilimanjaro.

Dan and Meg are raising money for CLIC Sargent throughout April by encouraging people to take part in a fundraising event called the Team MaD 5k Challenge rather than just donating.

The pair are sending specially made medals to anyone who donates £12 and proves they have run, jogged or walked 5km this month. People rising to the challenge are also being entered into a prize draw with a top prize of a spa day for two at Bannatyne.

* Anyone wishing to support Dan's run in the London Marathon with a donation can do so via: www.justgiving.com/daniel-turner26