Daughter runs London Marathon for dad who lost cancer battle

Abbey Whitehead running in London marathon (s)
Abbey Whitehead running in London marathon (s)

A loving daughter from Starbeck ran the London Marathon on Sunday and has raised more than £4,000 in memory of her father who died last year.

Abbey Whitehead, 21, ran the marathon to raise funds and awareness for the charity Beating Bowel Cancer after her father was diagnosed with the condition in 2012.

Paul Whitehead died in June 2014, aged 57, just a month before Abbey’s 21st birthday and three weeks before her brother got married.

Abbey, who left her job to be Paul’s full-time carer at home, described her father as having a ‘big personality’ and ‘always having a laugh’.

She said: “My dad kept us positive and explained that we would just learn to ‘live with his cancer’, and we did. In March I left my job and became his full time carer. A job that came with days filled with laughter and sadness.

“As a family we shared moments together that looking back now we are so grateful for. However alongside this happiness we saw just how awful, unforgiving and fast this terrible disease is. The amazing things we did as a family in those last few weeks were still haunted by time and the lack of it.

“He gave a lot of help and advice to a lot of people and was a mentor to many.”

The 21-year-old decided to run the marathon after her father died because she wanted to raise funds and awareness of a ‘very treatable disease’ if caught early.

Abbey came across the charity while caring for her dad and said: “The information the charity provided both through the website and the many leaflets was such a support.”

On her JustGiving page. Abbey described her dad as a ‘special man’ which she always knew by his ‘massive friend base’, ‘big smile’ and ‘positive attitude’.

She said: “Cancer waits for nobody, that’s why we have to act fast so that other people can catch this early enough to prevent terminal diagnosis.”

Visit https://www.justgiving.com/Abbey-Whitehead1 to donate to Abbey’s JustGiving page.