Rob Love will run this year’s London Marathon in memory of the ‘amazing’ sister he holds close to his heart.
The 26-year-old, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, was devastated when his sister, Sarah, was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2010, just months after giving birth to her third son.
By the time she passed away on June 4, 2011, she was only 29 years old and had endured chemotherapy, radiotherapy, a stem cell transplant, remission and relapse.
“It was horrible but she always had a smile on her face.
“She was the biggest fighter and always did stuff for her boys - everything revolved around them.
“She was just an amazing person really and always thought about others - I see a lot of me in her,” said Rob, who will be running on April 26 for Cancer Research UK in his sister’s memory.
Icy conditions have made his training ‘tricky’ at times, and he now has shin splints to contend with, but he is determined the 26 mile event will feature among his ‘achievements’.
“Even if I break my leg, I’m still going to complete it - I’ll do it on crutches if I have to,” said the former County Upper School pupil.
Of his sister, he added: “She’d love it - she’d be happy that I was doing this sort of thing because we were really close, me and her.”
Rob, who is assistant manager at Giraffe, in Bury, said he started running in April after buying a new pair of trainers and, ‘like Forrest Gump, just kept on going’.
Of the Ipswich Half Marathon he completed last year, he said: “It was very hard - I didn’t think that Ipswich was so hilly!”
He has covered more than 400 miles in 10 months - many accompanied by Meg, his beloved Labrador-cross - and has the Silverstone Half Marathon lined up for his birthday on March 15, just four weeks before the much-anticipated event.
He secured his place in the London Marathon from the online ballot - after setting an alarm to make sure he would wake up early enough to enter.
“It’s sinking in now and, with more people sponsoring me, there’s even more to aim towards,” he said, adding: “It’s going to be overwhelming but the crowds and the atmosphere will keep me going.”
To support Rob’s marathon efforts, visit virginmoneygiving.com/roblove15
Giraffe customers can donate via a collection bucket in the restaurant.