Jarrow dad running 52 half marathons in a year in memory of loved ones

Callum Larson is to run a half marathon every week in memory of his father  Gavin Larson
Callum Larson is to run a half marathon every week in memory of his father Gavin Larson

A caring South Tyneside dad who has lost four loved ones to cancer in the last year is going on the run for charity.

Callum Larson has set himself the challenge of running a half marathon every week for a year.

Callum's dad Gavin

Callum's dad Gavin

Through completing the 52 13.1-mile runs, the 25-year-old hopes to raise £3,000 for Macmillan, Cancer Research UK and the children’s unit at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Callum, a dad-of-three from the Scotch Estate, Jarrow, said: “I’ve lost so much this last year, it’s been terrible.

“I want to do something to help. If I can raise money that helps to one day lead to a cure for cancer, it’ll mean that no one else will have to go through what I’ve been through, and that’s what I want.”

In the last year, Callum has lost his grandfather Kenny Sayers to prostate cancer and his grandmother Margaret Sayers to lung cancer, as well as his grandfather Barney Larson, who had a brain tumour and cancer throughout his body.

All three of his grandparents died within months of being diagnosed, and on October 1, Callum suffered another tragedy when his beloved dad Gavin lost his battle to the disease.

The 48-year-old had lung cancer, which spread to his glands, and bones, as well as tumours on his brain. He had only been diagnosed six weeks earlier.

Callum was also inspired to raise cash for the children’s unit at the RVI through friend Aaron Todd and partner Jodie Oley’s goddaughter Ava Henderson, who were both helped by the unit in their final days.

Callum, a product operative for a lift access company, said: “The RVI does an amazing job with kids every single day and I just want to give something back.”

“I’d already lost my nana and grandads and I was thinking about doing something to raise money. Then when I lost my dad that settled it for me.

“I was talking to a woman I’ve known for years, Diane Puddock, who is fighting cancer but remains so positive and says she’s going to beat it.

“She made me realise even more that I wanted to do something to help.”

He added: “I’ve done the Great North Run four times and the Paris Marathon last year, but I usually don’t run this much.

“I did the first half marathon on Sunday and it killed me, but it’s definitely going to be worth it.”

To sponsor Callum, go to www.gofundme.com and search for ‘Callum Larson’.