Hartlepool nurse aims to run a marathon a week after losing his mother to cancer

John Lewandowski returning from a training run. Picture by FRANK REID
John Lewandowski returning from a training run. Picture by FRANK REID

A NURSE is going more than the extra mile in his drive to raise money and awareness of the cancer that claimed his mum’ life.

John Lewandowski, from Hartlepool, is aiming to rack up 365 miles of running between now and June by running just short of a marathon every week.

Jon Lewandowski holding a photograph of his late mum Ethel.  Picture by FRANK REID

Jon Lewandowski holding a photograph of his late mum Ethel. Picture by FRANK REID

It is to represent another year of life he wished that his mum Ethel Lewandowski could still have been here.

She died aged 65 in November 2013, just eight months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

John, 44, who works as a charge nurse at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, says the cancer is often diagnosed too late to save victims like his mum.

He said: “Out of all the cancers, pancreatic cancer is something like the fifth most common yet recovery hasn’t changed appreciably in four decades.

For me that 365 miles is 365 days of life

John Lewandowski

“Out of 100 people under four per cent survive for five years or more, the vast majority of patients die before a year post diagnosis.

“If early treatment was as good for pancreatic cancer as for all the other cancers, mum would still be here. I think we can do better and I want to be part of changing that.”

He has taken up running again after several years and is hitting the streets to reach his 365-mile target by June 22.

Describing how the challenge came about, John, of Clavering, said: “I was running one night and started thinking about the year ahead and how it would have been mum’s birthday in March.

“Each mile that I run will effectively represent a day that mum should have been with me this year had things turned out differently.

“This is why for me that 365 miles is 365 days of life.”

John, married to Tracey 41, and dad to two-year-old Harley, is running around 25 miles a week.

He added: “It has been difficult, but I’m on target.

“If I reach my target of completing it by June 22, I have said I will do it again but over the rest of the year.”

All the money John raises will go to Pancreatic Cancer UK.

You can sponsor him online at www.justgiving.com/john-lewandowski.

Supporters can also text BCLA48 then a space followed by the amount you wish to give to 70070.