Two soon-to-be brothers in law, Andrew Cooper and Cameron Middleton, will be pulling on their trainers for the race of their life in aid of local cancer charity, Friends of ANCHOR.
When former Banchory St Ternan footballer Andrew was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at the age of 21 in December 2008, he promised himself two things: He’d beat the cancer and he would run the London Marathon when it was all over.
Now, three years on, he’s at the last stages of his treatment and his training for the famous marathon has begun.
If all goes well, Andrew, 24, will be finishing his cancer treatment in January and just three months later he’ll be running the 26.2 mile race across London to cross the finish line.
Andrew, who grew up in Westhill, said: “After more than three years treatment within the ANCHOR Unit I wanted to give something back.
“I have spent so much time in Ward 16 and the Haematology Clinic and fully appreciate the support from everyone involved.
The nurses have been excellent, providing me with encouragement, and continuous banter.
“By taking part in the London Marathon, I’ll have the perfect opportunity to raise lots of money for Friends of ANCHOR.
“It’s going to be challenging but personally knowing how the money raised will benefit the unit, it’ll all be worth it!”
As well as training for his first marathon race, Andrew will be jetting off to Germany this week to cheer on his future brother-in-law, Cameron, who is taking part in the Berlin marathon on Sunday (September 25) to raise further funds for the same unit.
Cameron, 24, said: “It wasn’t until my sister’s fiancé, Andrew, was diagnosed that I realised just how important a role Friends of ANCHOR provides for the unit.
“I have seen first-hand the support the charity has given Andrew and many others and I’m keen to do all I can to help support the valuable work Friends do for cancer patients in the North-east.”
Both men will also be practising their speech skills alongside their running training, for Andrew’s upcoming nuptials to Cameron’s sister Zoe in July 2013.
The two have been together for three and a half years with Zoe supporting Andrew every step of the way throughout his brave battle with cancer.
Andrew added: “Life has certainly thrown us some hard challenges over the past few years but I’m looking forward to what’s in store in the future.
“Celebrating the end of my cancer treatment, realising my London Marathon ambition and marrying Zoe!”
Sarah-Jane Milne, PR and fundraising Manager, at Friends of ANCHOR said: “Andrew’s story is certainly an inspirational one and we’re thoroughly enjoying supporting him and Cameron in their fundraising efforts.
“This is the first time either of them have taken on the challenge of running a marathon so we wish them all the best in their training for the races.
“Their joint fundraising efforts will help us in continuing our commitment in ensuring every cancer patient attending the ANCHOR Unit receives the best possible treatment, care and support.”
Andrew Cooper’s fundraising page is: http://www.balmoral-group.com/foa/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=148 and Cameron Middleton’s is: http://www.balmoral-group.com/foa/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=150