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Ten years free of cancer – and each marathon mile worth £1,000

Rob ran the London Marathon this year, to mark ten years in remission from bone cancer. He never thought he would raise £27,000 for the British Red Cross – with a little help from his friends.

This year has been a big one for Rob Barclay.

2015 marks the ten-year anniversary of his cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy – and the start of ten years in remission.

To celebrate those landmarks, Rob decided to run the London Marathon, hoping to make a bit of money for the British Red Cross.

The next thing he knew, seven of his closest friends had signed up, too – and he’d raised an incredible £27,000.

That’s more than £1,000 for every mile.

Friends rally round

The ‘Magnificent Eight’ came together soon after Rob announced his aim to run April’s marathon.

The group included his wife Carrie, younger brother Andrew and best man Rob Speakman.

Adam Rutter, James Sherwin-Smith, Richard Hull and Robert Drewienkiewicz were the other pals who took part.

They all raised tens of thousands of pounds for the Red Cross, through a combination of sponsorship and special events.

For Rob, 33, it was actually the second time that he’d completed the 26.2-mile race. The first time was in 2006 – just ten months after he found out that his bone cancer (osteosarcoma) was in remission.

Setting a goal

Diagnosed when he was just 22, Rob had to have surgery and months of chemotherapy to overcome the cancer in his arm.

His mother Bobbie Barclay – president of the Red Cross in Devon – explains: “It was during that time that Rob set himself the goal of running the marathon as something to focus on, and a way of getting through it. It was an awful time, but they say that out of something horrible comes something good.

“I may be biased, but Rob is a delightful man – and in a way I think that his journey has made him a better person.”

‘Fantastic cause’

When he completed the race in 2006, Rob raised over £7,000 – so he was astounded and delighted to reach the £27,000 total this time.

Bobbie, who has been a keen fundraiser for the Red Cross for 25 years, is very proud of all that the team has achieved.

“Rob has always been very positive and this is another example of that,” she says. “The amount of money the team has raised is remarkable and it is going to such a fantastic cause.”

Rob added: “I thought I would run the London Marathon again to celebrate the fact that I’m very much still here.

“Many people initially diagnosed with bone cancer don’t get to have ten-year anniversaries, so I was running for them – as well as for me, my family, the Red Cross, and all the people they support.”



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