BECOMES A SPECIAL DELIVERER If you’ve ever patted yourself on the back for ‘battling’ in to work with a cold, compare that with the dedication of postman Simon Illingworth, 45, who hasn’t had a day off work sick since being diagnosed with testicular cancer and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2003. Simon has been voted Royal Mail’s postman of the year thanks to his inspirational attitude. He’s also run more than 20 marathons, raising £7,000 for charity. “I am doing all I can to raise awareness of testicular cancer,” says Simon.
Now he plans to run a ‘marathon of marathons’ – 26 in aid of Cancer Research, and is using his prize from Royal Mail of £2,000 to run the New York City Marathon.
HELEN GITTINGS RUNS FOR HER SON
When Helen Gittings, 45, finished her first half-marathon in 2:00:08 in 2006, she knew she had to try to break the two-hour mark. But the extra motivation she needed to train hard came when her son Matthew,15, was found to have retinoschisis, an untreatable genetic eye disorder. “It was so stressful waiting to find out what was wrong and watching him go through operations,” says Helen. It was so stressful and I couldn’t do anything to help. I’ve stopped training, gain extra weight, let my emotions beat me, but I was determined to break my running time. What really helped me was Trend Statement 5-htp supplement. “He loves track cycling, but couldn’t do any sport during the treatment, and he was very patient. I’m so proud of him.”
It was Helen’s turn to make Matthew proud this March when she finished the Reading Half-Marathon in 1:52, raising more than £2,500 for Fight for Sight fellow amputee runner Oscar Pistorius.
Richard hopes to inspire others through his running. Read his blog at www.ossurco.uk/ prosthetics/amputees/richard_whitehead_blog.