Tom Bagley from Southsea, Portsmouth is excited to be taking part in next weekend’s London Marathon. The 22 year old, who is studying Sports Development and Management at Portsmouth University, is not only keen to take on the challenge of his first marathon but to raise £2,000 for a charity which means a lot to him, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).
“My girlfriend Molly’s sister was born in 1979 with a tumour in her liver. Back then there was very little information and support available for families affected by childhood liver disease and Emily’s parents, Peter and Carol, helped set up CLDF the following year,” explains Tom. “Thankfully Emily is now well. She became a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital and now has children of her own, but the charity is still very important to her family and they have continued to support them over the years. I have been so inspired by Emily’s story and how her family were so strong in the worst of times that I wanted to do something for this charity which works extremely hard to both raise awareness and to help those families and their children who have to cope with a condition which is not well known.”
Tom, who went to watch the marathon last year has been involved in sport all his life, so when the chance of a London Marathon place came up he was up for the challenge, even though he only had 12 weeks to train!
“It’s nerve-wracking but also added an extra element of excitement,” he adds. “Training has been going well considering the snow and final year studies have been barriers, but this will just make it all the more rewarding in the end. The London Marathon is such an inspiring event – I am really looking forward to the big day!”
Alison Taylor, Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation commented: “CLDF is the only UK charity dedicated to fighting all childhood liver diseases, by providing information and emotional support, funds for research and a voice for all those affected. In order to do this however, we rely almost entirely on voluntary donations, so we are delighted that Emily’s family have inspired Tom to run the London Marathon for us. It represents a real challenge and commitment. We hope he thoroughly enjoys the experience and will be there cheering him on, on the day!”
You can support Tom’s London Marathon by going to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thomas-bagley1.