Nicola completes virtual London Marathon in memory of former West Berkshire councillor Marcus
“I miss Marcus every single day and I know he’d be proud of me"
“SADLY he wasn’t there to celebrate with me at the finish line, but I hope that the money I raise in his memory will contribute towards a future where fewer lives, like Marcus’, are lost.”
That was the emotional message from Nicola Franks, who ran the virtual London Marathon on Sunday in memory of her husband and former West Berkshire councillor Marcus.
Father-of-two Mr Franks, who sat on the council’s executive committee and represented Speen ward, died in April 2019 at the age of 46, following a battle with bowel cancer.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News, Mrs Franks said: “Remembering Marcus and knowing that I was raising awareness and money for Bowel Cancer UK definitely kept me going through the last few difficult miles.
“It was an emotional day, but thinking of Marcus and the positive way he approached his fight with bowel cancer put my pain into perspective and spurred me on.
“When Marcus died, to quote him, I couldn’t even run a bath.
“A few weeks later, I watched the 2019 London Marathon in my pyjamas whilst sitting on the sofa. A couple of days later, I found myself entering the ballot for a place in the 2020 marathon.
“Whilst it was still a bit of a joke at this stage, I decided I ought to see whether I could actually run.
“It was tough and emotional but I know that he’d have been my biggest supporter.
“I miss Marcus every single day and I know he’d be proud of me.
“Sadly, he wasn’t there to celebrate with me at the finish but I hope that the money I raise in his memory will contribute towards a future where fewer lives, like Marcus’, are lost and fewer families, like mine, have to deal with the devastating consequences of losing a loved one to bowel cancer.”
She added: “I could also not have completed it without the amazing support of Linda Stoyle and the many other West Berkshire Run Together runners who ran with us throughout the day.”
Mrs Franks has so far raised £3,200 in memory of her husband and all of the money will go to Bowel Cancer UK, the UK's leading bowel cancer charity.
Its mission is to save lives and improve the quality of life of everyone affected by bowel cancer and money donated to the charity helps to fund vital services and lifesaving research.
Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer and the second biggest cancer killer. However, it is treatable and curable if diagnosed early.
If you would like to make a donation to Mrs Franks’ fundraising page, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/NicolaandMarcus