Girl is about to run the Cardiff Half Marathon in memory of her dad
To continue her father’s legacy and give back to the charity is the biggest motivation for Alice Wymer.
It is about half a month to go before the race, Alice Wymer just finished a twelve-mile run. She has started training for around three months for the upcoming Cardiff Half Marathon. Although she has been a keen runner, this is her first marathon. Alice will be running to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK in memory of her father, Patrick Wymer, who died of bowel cancer in January 2020.
This marathon means a lot to Alice. “I’ve never run a half marathon before. It is my first time,” said Alice. “It is an opportunity to take part and have a great experience of running the half marathon, but also be able to do it for something that’s really important for me.”
Her father, Patrick Wymer, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in June 2017. When Mr Wymer got diagnosed, it was a massive shock for the family. “It was a very difficult thing to come to terms with,” said Alice. After his diagnosis, Mr Wymer lived from scan to scan as he was at an advanced stage.
Before that, Mr Wymer was a person full of energy. He enjoyed being in nature and cycling. Although cancer made him physically weak, he did not yield to the disease.
During his illness, Mr Wymer was an active campaigner committed to lowering the age for bowel cancer screening and raising awareness of bowel cancer symptoms. “It was obviously a very difficult time that he also did some amazing things, which I am really proud that he did,” said Alice.
While receiving treatment, Mr Wymer started his blog, Bowel Cancer Man, where he talked about his diagnosis and his experience of living with cancer. Setting down his experience helped him get in touch with people going through the same thing. The connection with other patients has supported him to fight against the disease.
“Family and friends were there for him and supported him but it was also important for him to be able to connect with people who had cancer themselves so understood what he was going through,” said Alice. “Because I suppose unless you are actually experiencing that diagnosis, it’s hard to completely know what it is like.”
Mr Wymer’s blog now has over 80,000 visitors. The stories he wrote on the blog have influenced and helped many people who were diagnosed with cancer. In his text, it is easy to tell that he was a humorous person who has always had a positive attitude towards cancer.
Besides setting down his own experience to encourage cancer patients and their families, Mr Wymer also got involved in some events. He spoke at Bowel Cancer UK staff away day to share his experience of living with bowel cancer with the organisation’s staff. He also delivered a speech at a reception at Senedd to mark the ‘Spotlight on Bowel Cancer in Wales’ report of Bowel Cancer UK.
With the support of his family and friends, Mr Wymer actively received treatment. But for many families with cancer patients, the uncertainty about the illness is a big challenge for them. “I think probably the biggest challenge was the uncertainty, and not knowing how long my dad had, also how the illness would progress,” said Alice.
After three years of treatment, Mr Wymer passed away in January 2020.
In memory of her father, Alice decided to run the Cardiff half marathon and raise money for the Bowel Cancer UK. She sees this opportunity as a way to continue her father’s legacy and give back to the charity who were supportive and helpful for her family when they needed it most.
Alice has been training for the marathon for three months. Her family, boyfriend and friends are very supportive. “They are really supportive, and I think everyone knows that it means a lot to me,” said Alice.
Alice has set up an online fundraising page for the donation supporting the Bowel Cancer UK. All money raised will be donated to the organisation.