A SUPERHERO mum who lost her father to cancer is calling on fellow London Marathon runners to unite with her and help raise funds to battle the disease.
Victoria Fairbourn, an A&E nurse at Leeds General Infirmary, will run the famous 26.2 mile course on Sunday dressed as Wonder Woman, in memory of her dad Mel Fairbourn-Varley, an award-winning architect from Rothwell who died last summer after a being diagnosed with advanced lung cancer at age 59.
Victoria, 30, of Headingley, chose to raise money for Cancer Research UK as her dad took part in a clinical trial for a pioneering new treatment before he died. Sadly he didn’t respond to the treatment and died just six months after being diagnosed.
The mum-of-two said: “He was the most loving and kind man and even though the trial didn’t work for him we are all hopeful that it could help someone else in the future. He was involved in other research during his life as well in his role as an architect looking for ways to improve the environment for people with dementia in residential and nursing care.
“So research really is close to our hearts so anything I can do to help Cancer Research UK is very special.
“When he was diagnosed we never imagined we’d only have six months left together and none of us were ready. Even my dad had carried on as normal and was working full time until two weeks before he died.”
Sunday will be an “emotional day” for Victoria, whose dad knew she hoped to take part in the marathon.
She added: “Following his death running gave me a new purpose and no matter how hard things get on the course I will remind myself that it’s nowhere near as hard as dad had to endure. I hope by wearing the Wonder Woman costume I can transform into her and take some of my dad’s optimism and strength with me too.”
To sponsor Victoria, visit www.justgiving.com/Victoria-fairbourn.
Also taking part in the race is former professional rugby league player Andy Wray (Hunslet Hawks), who is running up the Three Peaks in succession and cycling between them before running Sunday’s London Marathon for Cystic Fibrosis, after a friend’s son from Wakefield was diagnosed with the condition.