20th September 2022

Tom’s London Marathon story

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Keen runner and master’s student, Tom Gallo from South East London, is one of our many Roy’s Runners taking on the London Marathon next month in aid of our charity. Tom is running in memory of his late mum and aunt. Here, he shares his reasons for taking on the challenge and why he’s dedicated to fundraising in support of people affected by lung cancer.

“Having done six half marathons in the past, this is my first step up to marathon distance. It’s a challenge I’ve wanted to accomplish for a couple years now,’ explains Tom. ‘My ambition was always to take on a marathon for a good cause and losing mum made it even more significant.

After my mum’s passing, I was researching charities we could fundraise for in her memory and Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation was the perfect fit. It’s the only specialist lung cancer charity supporting people affected by all forms of lung cancer in the UK – and lung cancer was one of the battles mum had to tackle in the later years of her illness. I also noticed the statistics of the number of people impacted by lung cancer compared to other cancers was truly startling.

In January I lost my aunt unexpectedly to a rare and aggressive type of lung cancer which made it more important for me personally to fundraise for the charity that supports people with all forms of lung cancer.”

Mum, my brother and me on holiday when we were younger. | My mum, aunt, nana and cousin

“My aunt’s diagnosis came at a very late stage, and she passed away just seven weeks after her diagnosis, so I fully support Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation’s #needtoscreen campaign. I saw the powerful the interview on the BBC with the widows of James Brokenshire and Roy Castle – having a screening programme for lung cancer could be invaluable in saving or prolonging lives.

I’m nervous for the race, but also very excited for the crowds. In previous runs I’ve done, the crowds have always been amazing. To take part in the biggest race in the world is a massive privilege and to do it on behalf of such an amazing, underappreciated charity means a lot to me. I just know the race is going to be so much fun!

I feel so fortunate to have had so many people support me and more importantly, this amazing charity. Whatever I raise, I’ll be thankful for – as every donation however big or small will help make a massive difference for families going through similar to what mine has in recent years.”

Show your support to Tom by visiting his JustGiving page here.