A mum-of-two is preparing to tackle a gruelling 20-mile obstacle course for charity after her eldest son was diagnosed with leukaemia.
Liz Fell, 38, will line up alongside hundreds of runners in the Full Mucker event at Burghley House - billed as the toughest event of its kind in the world.
She will be raising vital funds for four children’s charities: CLIC Sargent, Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group, Starlight and Children with Cancer UK.
Barrister Liz, who works for the Crown Prosecution Service, was inspired to act after son Isaac, 9, was diagnosed with leukaemia in February.
The youngster who, like his parents, is very sporty, began suffering from back pain in December last year after returning from the athletics track with his running club.
Isaac’s doctor, and a paediatric consultant he was referred to, both thought it was caused by a pulled muscle. He carried on life as normal, completing a 5km race on Boxing Day and a cross-country run in January.
But after falling ill at William Hildyard Primary School, in Market Deeping, in January, Isaac underwent blood tests, scans and a bone marrow biopsy and was diagnosed with leukaemia.
Liz said: “It was shocking news. We went from thinking it was a pulled muscle to be diagnosed with leukaemia.
“However, as a family we are being very positive about it. Isaac has started an intensive three-year course of chemotherapy, some of which he will receive at Addenbroke’s and some which we can administer at home.
“He’s lost his hair, and has less energy than usual, but Isaac is amazingly resilient and even managed a couple of rounds of golf over Easter.”
Last year, Isaac completed the Young Mucker obstacle course and he had intended to enter again in 2016. Sadly, his illness means that is not possible but his parents are certain he will return in the future.
Leukaemia is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in children, accounting for about 30 per cent of all cases. Patients require long-term help, but almost all achieve a remission (a period free from symptoms) and 85 per cent will be completely cured.
Liz said: “The treatment has such good results because of the work of charities like CCLG and Children with Cancer tirelessly researching cures, drugs and side effects.
“We’ve had great support from CLIC Sargent who part-pay for our specialist nurse. Starlight grant incredible wishes for people diagnosed with similar conditions to Isaac and in future we hope to nominate him.
“We wanted to raise money for all these amazing causes.”
Liz, Isaac, brother Noah, 7, and dad Simon, 39, live in Tallington and worship at St George’s Church, Stamford.
Last month Simon, head of school at William Hildyard Primary, competed in the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff to help raise funds. Isaac’s football team, Crowland FC Juniors held a cake sale; his cub pack donated £20 and Liz’s employer raised £120 with a name the Easter chick competition.
Liz will take part in the Full Mucker on May 7, part of the Rat Race Dirty Weekend event, with dad Mike Freeman, 67, and brother Nat.
To donate, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/TeamFell.
l For more on the Rat Race, turn to page 17