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Diss gym owner takes on ultramarathon for 'warrior' friend with terminal cancer

PUBLISHED: 08:25 27 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:41 01 June 2018

Tom Bobbins, who owns Heywood Health and Fitness Club in Diss, has raised almost £7,000 after taking on a 100km ultramarathon inspired by his friend with terminal cancer. Photo: Submitted

Tom Bobbins, who owns Heywood Health and Fitness Club in Diss, has raised almost £7,000 after taking on a 100km ultramarathon inspired by his friend with terminal cancer. Photo: Submitted

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A gym owner has been inspired by a friend's tragic battle with terminal cancer to complete an ultramarathon this weekend.

Tom is fundraising for Shine Cancer Support, a charity nominated by Donna Edwards, 38, who was diagnosed with an inoperable terminal cancer last year. Photo: Donna EdwardsTom is fundraising for Shine Cancer Support, a charity nominated by Donna Edwards, 38, who was diagnosed with an inoperable terminal cancer last year. Photo: Donna Edwards

Tom Bobbins, who owns Heywood Health and Fitness Club in Diss, will run 100km from London to Brighton and before setting off yesterday he had more than doubled his fundraising target of £3,000.

Hoping to complete the race in under 14 hours, Tom is undertaking this huge challenge for his close friend Donna Edwards who was diagnosed with an inoperable and incurable cancer last year.

She said: “I went to doctor in February 2017 with some minor hormonal symptoms and my ovaries appeared larger than they should be and I was told they were cysts.

“As I had my children who are 10 and six this wasn’t as traumatic as it could be.”

Tom is fundraising for Shine Cancer Support, a charity nominated by Donna Edwards, 38, who was diagnosed with an inoperable terminal cancer last year. Photo: Donna EdwardsTom is fundraising for Shine Cancer Support, a charity nominated by Donna Edwards, 38, who was diagnosed with an inoperable terminal cancer last year. Photo: Donna Edwards

A biopsy showed that not only were the cysts cancerous but they were also metastatic, meaning it had come from somewhere else in Donna’s body.

She was diagnosed with stage four signet ring cell adenocarcinoma of the stomach which was both inoperable and terminal, with doctors giving her a five per cent chance of making it to five years.

Each year Tom takes on a different challenge to raise money and this year Donna has inspired him to choose Shine Cancer Support to receive his donations, which have surpassed £6,800 including Gift Aid.

Shine helps people in their 20s, 30s and 40s who have cancer and have been an invaluable support to Donna and her family.

Just before he set off in the early hours of Saturday morning Tom’s wife Amy Bobbins wrote on Facebook: “Our wonderful friend is fighting a pretty nasty dose of cancer and fighting she is - with humour, strength and damn right determination, Donna is a total warrior.

“I know I speak for both Tom and myself when I say thank you so much to each and everyone of you for your incredible generosity not only through donations but also through your support and encouragement.”

If you would like to support Tom in his ultramarathon you can donate to his Virgin Money page here.

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