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Half-marathon will be our anniversary day out; Father and children are aiming to cross line together.

Byline: Lyndsay Oxley

Lyndsay Oxley Father and children are aiming to cross line together A GUISBOROUGH father is set to cross the Great North Run's finishing line almost a year after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Mark Redfern, 54, was told the devastating news that he had oesophageal cancer just days before the half marathon last year.

Determined to not be beaten, he sent a message to his daughter, Abbie, who was on the start line at the time, to tell her he would be joining her there next year. Having never taken part in the Great North Run before and having not run since the early 80s, Mark embarked on training which would help him conquer the 13.1 mile challenge. Despite having undergone two rounds of chemotherapy and one round of radiotherapy since he started his fitness preparations in April, Mark is looking forward to Sunday's event which will see him cross the finish line with Abbie, 26, and his son, Ben, 29. Having continued working as a HGV driver throughout the past year, he said: "It was all a bit of a shock when I was first diagnosed but the training for the run has really helped and made me fitter overall.

"I am looking forward to Sunday as I have always wanted to take part in the Great North Run and crossing the finish line with Ben and Abbie will make it more special." Since Mark's diagnosis Abbie has vowed she would make every effort to raise money to help find a cure for cancer. She has set herself a target which is to complete 12 challenges in the next 12 months, all of which will help raise money for Cancer Research UK and the Wilf Ward Family Trust. As a personal trainer herself and having taken part in the Great North Run since she was 18, Abbie isn't shy of a fitness challenge. Abbie said: "Training for the Great North Run has helped to keep dad's mind off things. "I don't think we will run the whole race but we will try. "We just want to cross the finish line as a family unit as you realise how precious family is when devastating news hits." Following the Great North Run, Abbie is planning to complete a 170 mile bike ride as well as the Redcar Boxing Day Dip. She hopes to complete her challenges by next April.

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Sep 5, 2014
Words:406
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