James goes the distance to raise charity cash for Cure Leukaemia - The Solihull Observer

James goes the distance to raise charity cash for Cure Leukaemia

Solihull Editorial 23rd Dec, 2020   0

A SOLIHULL charity chief is taking a well earned rest after raising a bumper £13,000 for Cure Leukaemia by running 180 kilometres.

James McLaughlin’s ‘Tour of the TAP’ was launched to try and address the £1.5million shortfall the charity is facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

From November 12 to December 11 the 47-year-old ran 14km for each of the 12 blood cancer centres Cure Leukaemia funds within the UK Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) to not only raise funds but also awareness that someone is diagnosed with blood cancer in the UK every 14 minutes.

And to boost his total, additional funds raised by blood cancer clinical staff took the grand total beyond £21,000.

Clinical staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, University Hospital of Wales’ Clinical Research Facility, Belfast City Hospital, The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow and Nottingham City Hospitals NHS Trust also ran 14km on their days off in support of his challenge.

For the Manchester leg Aston Villa fan Steph Price and mother of teenage leukaemia patient Harry, set James an additional challenge of doing the run wearing a Villa shirt if they managed to raise an additional £1,400.

This was then taken to another level by Wolves fans who raised more than £3,000 to ensure he wore their club colours for the final leg on December 11.

He also received support from Birmingham City supporters club Blues 4 All, Warwickshire County Cricket Club and Paris Smith, a legal firm in Southampton, meaning he wore shirts representing those clubs too.

Two Cure Leukaemia supporters, Amira Mumtaz and Kevin Hoskins, also ran the full 180km remotely to show their support.

Amira, also from Solihull, is the mother of five-year-old Aiya who is in remission from blood cancer.

She said: “I was so inspired to hear what James was doing to help patients who are in the same position my little girl was three years ago.”

James said: “I initially set out to raise £5,000 to do something positive to address the devastating shortfall we face in 2020.

“Despite writing to Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP in April we are yet to receive a reply or have any financial support from the government despite many of the nurses we fund being redeployed to the frontline to tackle Covid-19.

“I was staggered though by the support I received throughout the month and video messages from all over the UK.”

James also received video messages of congratulations from celebrity sportsmen Ben Foster (also a Patron of Cure Leukaemia), Jonathan Trott and Matt Le Tissier: https://youtu.be/91xie0NPyw8

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