Local fundraiser from Winnersh takes on the Great North Run for Bowel Cancer UK

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Steve Double, aged 63, from Winnersh, Berkshire, is taking on the Great North Run from Newcastle to South Shields this September to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK.

Steve’s son, Greg, a former pupil of Forest School and academy player at Reading FC, was diagnosed with bowel cancer aged 33. The experience made Steve aware of how important it is to know the symptoms of bowel cancer. He decided to take on the challenge of the Great North Run to raise awareness of the disease and how it can affect young people. 

Great North Run

Great North Run is the world’s largest half marathon and takes place on Sunday 10 September. This year 60,000 runners are set to run the 13.1 mile course starting in Newcastle upon Tyne city centre and finishing by the sea in South Shields.

Every 30 minutes someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK, which means that in the two hours it takes for the average person to complete this half marathon, four families will lose a loved one to the disease. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The disease is treatable and curable especially when diagnosed early. The funds raised will help stop people dying of bowel cancer by raising awareness of the disease, and funding vital services and lifesaving research. 

Steve, a regular runner who has been training throughout the year, said: “My son Greg had a very lucky escape. When he noticed blood in his poo, his GP told him he had nothing to worry about.

“We all thought Greg was far too young to have a serious risk of bowel cancer, but he knew something wasn’t right. He persisted and a specialist agreed he should have a scan, which revealed the devastating news that he did have bowel cancer after all.

“Luckily, because he had a relatively early diagnosis, he underwent major surgery and has made a good recovery. He’s even back playing football. Our fingers and toes are firmly crossed it stays that way.

“My own training has been hampered with injuries and it’s unlikely I’ll be running pain-free on the day, but if there’s one race I’m going to complete, it’s this one.”

Kerry Thomas, Head of Public Fundraising said:

“We’re so grateful to Steve for taking on this challenge for the charity. We’re determined to save lives and improve the quality of life of everyone affected by the disease but we’re entirely reliant on the generous support and commitment of people like Steve, choosing to run for us and raising funds.”

Donations can be made to:  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/steve-double1

If you’d like to join #TeamBowelCancer in the 2024 Great North Run, you can sign up for one of our charity places from 8 September 2023: https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/running