Cheltenham children's worker runs first half marathon to raise money for sick six-year-old
PUTTING his body through a gruelling challenge on Sunday was a Cheltenham children's worker's way of supporting a sick six-year-old.
Ben Williams, 20, from Frank Brookes, Cheltenham, completed his first 13-mile run at the Bath Half Marathon on Sunday in a time of three hours and 15 minutes. He took part in the run to raise money and awareness for Ryan Edwards, a six-year- old from Devon suffering from Neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer.
Ryan's grandmother, Sue, who lives in Prestbury, approached the Play Farm in the Brewery, where Ben works, to ask if she could put donation buckets at the play centre.
Ben took it one step further, by offering to run a half-marathon, despite never doing one before. He said: "I heard about the appeal when Sue came into The Play Farm with her other grand children to play. We agreed, but we wanted to do something bigger and better than just a few buckets. My personal trainer recommended I try and set myself a goal.
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"The goal we came up with was running the Bath half marathon in aid of a charity. The Ryan Edwards appeal meant a lot to me and many other people.
"I enjoy working with children and supporting them.
"My best friend had cancer when he was quite young, still in his teens, and my brother had tumours.
"Every time I hear a story about cancer I want to do something about it.
"Some of these young children have hardly experienced life, and they are still very young.
It's a difficult condition for Ryan and his family so I hope to help them as much as possible."
Grandmother Sue said Ryan was receiving treatment in Tubingen, Germany, to help him beat the disease for good.
"We got a bit of good news on Sunday night, so hopefully he'll push on and do better from here," she said.
"I'm so grateful for all the support and help that has been given to my boy and his cause.
Ryan is just one of the 60 to 100 children diagnosed every year. It's important to realise they need as much help as possible with the cases so far and few between." Ben is continuing his efforts at www.justgiving.com/benscancerrun.