Race Day: 13 October 2019

Bone Cancer survivor, 30, looks to continue his incredible year of fundraising by running The Royal Parks Half Marathon 

Tom Sheffle, 30, from Chelmsford, is running The Royal Parks Half Marathon presented by Royal Bank of Canada in October, after surviving bone cancer six years ago.

Tom, a teacher at Monteagle Primary School in Dagenham, has always been physically active but since his all clear he has found a new affinity for taking on challenges and raising as much money as possible for the Bone Cancer Research Trust (BCRT), who helped Tom through cancer.

Tom said: I was diagnosed with bone cancer in the summer of 2010. I was just about to fly out to Indonesia for the second summer in a row with one of my best friends, when some scans revealed something more sinister was going on than all the doctors had initially anticipated.

“This will be my fifth Royal Parks Half Marathon and I have completed approximately 20 or so official half marathons since my ‘cancer all clear’.

“I have also completed seven marathons and in 2016 I completed an Ironman. This September I am going to hopefully complete in the Wales Ironman.”

Tom has already raised £10,000 for the BCRT since receiving the all clear and has set himself some huge fundraising challenges in 2018, with an aim to raise both money and awareness. With many events in the pipeline, managing his training will be key.

Tom explained: “Having just trained for and completed two back to back marathons I feel my training has been going really well. I’ve took a few weeks off after London and am now back training again. What with a busy work schedule, my family and trying to swim and cycle, I think I am doing pretty much as much as I physically can.”

Tom has come a long way since his diagnosis. “My entire treatment plan lasted for approximately 14 months”, said Tom. “I had six initial cycles of three weekly chemotherapy at UCLH in London.

“These were very strong and caused some quite severe side effects throughout each cycle. I suffered with neutropenia and mucositis with each cycle of treatment. After the initial six chemotherapy blasts, I had a three-rib resection surgery at the Royal Brompton Hospital. I contracted a nasty infection after this surgery and so had to wait a period of time after the surgery before I could begin the final stage of treatment. My last step was eight more cycles of chemotherapy.”

Unfortunately, not every patient’s treatment is successful, with over 10 people Tom met during his time in hospital sadly succumbing to the disease. It is in their memory and with the hope that in the future more patients can get the all clear, that Tom undertakes such incredible fundraising challenges.

With his Wife Kathryn and daughter Emilia as his “official cheering squad” on the road, Tom will have plenty of support and further motivation to run well and continue to raise plenty of money for BCRT.

I love Kathryn and Emilia for putting up with all my running, cycling and swimming.  I know my parents, family and friends will be keeping an eye on my half marathon result, and to see what crazy challenge I will get up to next!

To support Tom’s fundraising efforts, visit http://www.justgiving.com/tomisturning30?utm_id=26

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