Andrew Booth from Staffordshire was excited, delighted, and equally filled with fear after finding out he was selected in the ballot for a place in this year’s London Marathon. When looking for a charity to support in the race, he chose to support a charity that focuses exclusively on lung cancer, the disease which Andrew’s father sadly passed away from in 1999.
Andrew wants to pay tribute to his dad by sharing his story this Father’s Day.
“The reason I am running in the London Marathon this year is down to my dad. He remained extremely fit and retained an ‘anything is possible’ mindset. I turn 60 next year and I wanted to prove to myself that I could still push on and complete a marathon. I last did the London Marathon in 2004 (17 years ago!) and have taken on four or five Great North Runs in the interim.
I never expected to get a place in the ballot with the rollover of places from last year, but clearly, it was fate. As was choosing to run for Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.
My dad’s name was Ken Booth. He started out in life as a farm hand, miner, trained as a bricklayer and studied engineering at night school and working weekends whilst having a full-time job. He qualified after many years of late nights and weekends studying, then over time, moved from his initial draftsman role to structural engineering – becoming a Fellow of Structural Engineers. During his career he worked for a variety of places including a short time for the Hong Kong government.
He achieved a huge amount from humble beginnings, he even built our house in Mow Cop, taking 2.5 years he spent every weekend and night building. Dad was an amazing man who remained grounded, ambitious, a fantastic work ethic and absolutely loved life.
He loved his wife Doreen, and they were married for 40 years before passing. My brother and I were his pride and joy – even though we sometimes let him down. At least he was able to see us both thrive; my brother as a leading Clinical Psychologist in Australia and myself in the pharmaceutical industry and latterly Podiatric private practice.
He was my role model, my hero, my best friend and provided the building blocks of my brother and I’s character and personality.
Why I’m running for Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
Training is going well considering I have done no running for about five years. I am currently up to 11 miles.
Running for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation will be an honour and the fact I will be raising awareness and contributions for the foundation will help me during every step of this challenge. It will be quite emotional as you have to dig very deep to overcome fatigue and mental tiredness (well, I do) but the link with the charity and the death of my father due to lung cancer will be a huge incentive to keep on running.
A lot has changed since we lost my dad. New treatments are in development and thanks to places like Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, more people are being diagnosed early. I hope research continues to focus on early diagnosis and screening measures.
My father was extremely fit enjoyed life, he had a huge amount to offer. Cases like my dad’s emphasise the need for you to follow your instincts, no matter how apprehensive you may be. The sooner you can be diagnosed, the better the outcome for you and your family and friends.”
Please note, stock photography has been used.