A father and son who decided to do the Great North Run in 2015 after being inspired by an exceptional teenager are taking on the half marathon for the second year in a row.
Jonathan Green, 43, and Charlie, 17, who live on the outskirts of Morpeth, will once again be collecting sponsorship money for Teenage Cancer Trust.
Jonathan saw a talk by Stephen Sutton – widely known for his blog Stephen’s Story and raising millions of pounds for the charity – before he died of cancer in May 2014.
The duo received a second reason to run for the charity when one of Charlie’s best friends at Ponteland High School was diagnosed with cancer and received support from Teenage Cancer Trust.
Charlie felt that fund-raising and doing the Great North Run was a great way to give something back.
Jonathan said: “Stephen Sutton came to our annual company meeting at the O2 in London in January 2014 and he put so much into perspective.
“Stephen’s message that every person is given 86,400 seconds at the beginning of the day to do whatever they want with was inspirational. Running 13.1 miles was nothing compared to what he did for his cause.”
Through his workplace, Jonathan supports the St James’s Place Foundation, which has raised more than £500,000 in total, with a huge amount that very night and in the following months all going to Teenage Cancer Trust.
Last year, the father and son came up with a special way of motivating themselves. They worked out that for every mile they ran, they were raising over £300 – enough to send a young person to Find Your Sense of Tumour, a weekend conference put on by Teenage Cancer Trust for young people who’ve had cancer.
In total, they raised £4,265.
They said: “If you’re considering signing up this year, just do it. Last year, the atmosphere was awesome.
“There was a Teenage Cancer Trust cheering point and we forgot it was coming up. Then, when they spotted us and started cheering, it gave us the energy to speed up again and finish.
“If you’re blessed enough to have the health to run, whilst it may hurt, why not use that gift to raise as much as you can to help others?”
Teenage Cancer Trust is dedicated to improving the quality of life and chances of survival for the seven young people in the UK aged 13 to 24 diagnosed with cancer every day.
It funds and builds specialist units in NHS hospitals and provides dedicated staff.
To sign up for the Great North Run, which goes between Newcastle and South Shields, in aid of the charity, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 6120370.