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The loss of a good pal to cancer has motivated a Steeple Bumpstead man to take on the London Marathon for Bowel & Cancer Research

Running the London Marathon wasn’t on the agenda for Pat Casey – but then one of his close friends lost his battle against bowel cancer.

Now Pat from Steeple Bumpstead is in training for the biggest sporting challenge of his life and will be running on April 28 as a tribute to his colleague and friend Nigel Swain, who died last year aged 63

He will also be raising money for Bowel & Cancer Research in Nigel’s memory.

Pat Casey, left, running in a half-marathon
Pat Casey, left, running in a half-marathon

The two met whilst working in IT for Teledyne E2V in Chelmsford.

“We sat next to each other for years,” said Pat, 43. “A group of us from the office would go out for bowling evenings, drinks, meals – Nigel was always out at all of these. He was a really lovely bloke and a warm-hearted guy.”

In early 2018, Nigel, from Colchester was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

After surgery, he learned that the cancer had spread to his stomach and lymph nodes.

He died last May, leaving a son, Richard.

“Even in hospital he did his best to keep upbeat and right to the end was reminiscing and laughing about the good old days at work and tours away with his cricket buddies,” said Pat.

“He kept working for as long as he could and just carried on being good ol’ Nige, doing what he could for people and asking for little or nothing in return.”

Losing Nigel was a wake-up call for Pat. “I wasn’t exercising, nor eating very well.

"I thought that if this could happen to Nigel, it could happen to me,” he said.

He began running with the couch-to-5k App in October and progressed to 10k and half-marathons.

“I thought I might as well have something to aim for and, if I could raise some money for a good cause, so much the better.

“I spoke to Nigel about doing the London Marathon for Bowel & Cancer Research when he was in hospital.

"At the time we were hoping he would be there to see me finish.

"But I know he will be watching me on the way round with a pint of Guinness in his hand. I’ll certainly have a pint and raise a glass to him at the end.

“I’m planning to enjoy the day and remember why I’m doing it.”

Supporting Pat are his wife Maggie and stepsons Niall and Dominic Kearney, as well as dozens of colleagues who have contributed generously to his fundraising.

Chief Executive of Bowel & Cancer Research Deborah Gilbert thanked Pat for his support. “We are so sorry to learn that Nigel Swain lost his life to this devastating disease.

"Our mission is to ensure that no one will die of bowel cancer in future and we can only do that with the support of our fantastic fundraisers,” she said.

Anyone who wants to support Pat can do so at https://www.bowelcancerresearch.org/fundraisers/runningfornigelswain


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