Harrogate runner gears up for London Marathon
A Harrogate woman is getting ready for this weekend's London Marathon after being inspired by a life-saving decision by her son.
Mother-of-five Sam Blakey, a personal trainer at Onewellness on Mowbray Square, has been inspired by her son Jack's involvement in a stem cell transplant to run for The Anthony Nolan Trust in the capital this Sunday morning.She said her son Jack's decision to donate his stem cells to a complete stranger, saving the life of a mum fighting leukaemia, had made her proud.She was now committed to raising as much money as possible for the charity, which faciltated the transplant match.Sam, 55, said: "I'm very proud of Jack. His receipient is doing well now and, hopefully, will make a full recovery."Running 26.2 miles is nothing compared to what he has done. I really hope I can raise a lot of money for this life-changing charity and encourage as many as possible to join the register because they literally could save someone's life."Sam, who moved back to Harrogate last year, swapped a career in journalism to train as a personal trainer and entered her first marathon just before turning 40.Her family's support for The Anthony Nolan Trust, a UK charity that works in the areas of leukaemia and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation named after Anthony Nolan who died of the rare disease despite a lengthy battle aged just eight, began when they were living in Asia.Sam said: "We were living in Singapre when we heard one of the players in Jack's old football team had been diagnosed with leukaemia."Sadly, he didn't beat the disease but his death prompted Jack to sign up to the stem cell transplant register."Sam had her own name added to the register for bone marrow but, when it came to the crunch, tests for a match turned out to be negative,.Raising money for the charity by running is the next best thing.Sam has previously ran several marathons, including in Paris, New York and Singapore, raising more than Â£20,000 in total for charity.But she said, after years living in Asia, she has found training for this weekend's London Marathon in Britains' winter months hard work.Sam said: "All the snow we had didn't help. To be honest, I've hated training in the cold as I am used to running in temperatyres of 30-plus degrees."I've also had two nasty bouts of flu but I think London is an amazing marathon and the crowds are so uplifting."Sam has set up a fundraising page for The Anthony Nolan Trust at virgingiving.com for anyone wishing to donate.