A Nottingham primary school teacher from Mapperley is training to run over 30km in Nottingham in memory of her former colleague’s son.
Zoe Foster, of Long Eaton, will be running the East Midlands 10K on March 5 and the Robin Hood Half Marathon on September 24, to raise money and awareness for Bone Cancer Research Trust.
The 30-year-old will be running her first half marathon as part of the on-going campaign ‘Remembering Alex Read’, a fundraising page set up by Alex’s mother.
Zoe made the decision to run the marathon after helping Alex’s mum at a Charity Fashion Show in aid of Bone Cancer Research Trust, Zoe was ‘touched’ by Alex’s story.
She said: “I worked with Shirley, Alex’s mum for four years. I hadn’t been working at school long when Alex was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer on January 1, 2013.”
Alex passed away on March, 13, 2014 and his family, Mum Shirley, Dad Glen and sister Eleanor have done various fundraising events in memory of Alex and to raise awareness for BCRT and have raised over £21,000.
Alex’s mum, Shirley Read, said: “At the beginning of December 2012 Alex fell on his shoulder while playing football. He said it hurt a bit but didn’t want any fuss. A week later it was still hurting so we went to the GP who told us it was a muscular problem and to take Ibuprofen.”
Each year in the UK and Ireland around 600 new cases of primary bone cancer are diagnosed and around 300 people die from these cancers because they are often diagnosed ‘too late’.
Zoe said: “It is an area which is over looked, especially in children and young adults. Often these cancers are mistaken for being conditions like a pulled muscle, sprain or sports injury.”
She added: “I’d love the money to bring Alex back to his loving family unfortunately it can’t but it might help other children and young people who may have bone cancer in the future survive and fight this horrible battle.”
On Facebook 15 fundraising pages have been set up in memory of Alex.
Shirley said: “We are more proud of him for being the thoughtful, loving, caring boy he was. He was the one who made us laugh, brought us joy, love and most of all, he loved his cuddles. He was so easy to love.”
Mat Cottle-Shaw, Head of Fundraising and Communications at the Bone Cancer Research Trust said the charity couldn’t do their vital work without the support of fantastic fundraisers like Zoe.
“It’s only through the efforts of people like Zoe that we can work to bring hope to those diagnosed with primary bone cancer every year.”
Zoe is aiming to raise £750, you can donate to her page here.