27th Oct, 2016

Borough runner is dusting off her running shoes to take part in the Great Birmingham Run to raise vital funds for Cure Leukaemia

Aisling Kiely 1st Oct, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

A NOVICE runner from Sheldon will be lacing up her trainers to take part in the Great Birmingham Run and raise vital funds for Cure Leukaemia in memory of her beloved father.

Elizabeth Cunningham, or Dutch as she is commonly called, has undergone eight weeks of intense training to prepare for the grueling 13-mile half marathon.

The 34-year-old decided to put herself through the paces after her father, James, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in May last year – and only given two months to live.

Her brave dad was given the opportunity to take part in a ground-breaking clinical trial at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to tackle the cancer.

The trial proved to be a success and he went into remission in August 2015.

Desperate to give back to those who helped him on his journey, he decided to helped to promote the ‘Just One More’ campaign during blood cancer awareness week and helped raise over £50,000 – enough to fund at least one research nurse.

However, twelve months down the line James was dealt with a heart-breaking blow and discovered the blood cancer had relapsed and lost his battle in July this year.

Speaking ahead of race, Elizabeth said: “I can’t even run one mile at the moment so 13.1 seems almost unthinkable.

“Cure Leukaemia gave us an extra year with Dad and that’s why I am going to do it.

“He loved the charity and it was all he spoke about for a while! He completely embraced it and dedicated his time to giving back to help others in his position.

“It is a charity which was very close to dad’s heart and now it is close to mine as well.

“I will get through it for Dad and I am determined to do this to help give something back.”

There is still time to join Elizabeth on the Great Birmingham Run in October 16 and raise much-need funds for the Cure Leukemia.

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Elizabeth-Cunningham13 to support Elizabeth on her run and help her hit the £500 mark.