Three-hour Portsmouth marathon workout raises cash for cancer charity

TOUGH Sarah Southern, centre, helps raise funds for Macmillan Nurses with a Body Combat Marathon.  Picture: Mick Young (121426-02)
TOUGH Sarah Southern, centre, helps raise funds for Macmillan Nurses with a Body Combat Marathon. Picture: Mick Young (121426-02)
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MORE than 90 fitness fanatics spent three hours working flat out at a tough body combat session to say thanks to a charity.

Sarah Southern organised the marathon workout to raise thousands of pounds for Macmillan Cancer Care.

The nurses from the charity have offered care, support and compassion to Sarah’s stepfather Ian Jacks who has terminal oesophageal cancer.

The 50-year-old, from Drayton, was diagnosed in September and, after gruelling chemotherapy, has now been told there is nothing more doctors can do for him.

Sarah and her 62-year-old mother Jackie Jacks are now focusing on making Ian’s final months as comfortable and happy but say they wouldn’t be able to do it without the help of Macmillan nurses.

‘Cancer does not just affect the people with the illness, it affects the whole family,’ said 35-year-old Sarah, also from Drayton.

‘Macmillan has support groups – there are people at the end of the telephone, and we know there is always someone there to talk to.

‘From the start they have treated us all as individuals and talked through what is happening to my dad, mum, me and even my four-year-old son Bertie.

‘They are truly amazing and have shown us nothing but comfort and compassion.

‘This is our way of saying thank you.’

Ian, who is agoraphobic and rarely leaves the house, ignored his symptoms of heart burn, indigestion, and trouble swallowing for months before he went to the doctors.

An endoscopy revealed he had a large tumour in his oesophagus.

Since then the family, who are known for throwing big parties, have been enjoying every minute of the time they have together with more parties.

And plans are being made for their annual summer bash in July.

Sarah, a bookkeeper, said: ‘Life is for living and you must enjoy it while you can.

‘This has put that truly into perspective. Ian has been so brave. He has dealt with it all gallantly. When he found out he just said: “Well, that’s it then. It’s my time and there’s no point crying about it”.’

Sarah was joined by 90 friends and family at Havant Leisure Centre for the tough workout led by body combat instructors Dean Wilson, Kate Geeves and Tammy Keir.

The group sweated through the pain threshold to raise £1,200 for Macmillan but there is still hundreds of pounds more to be collected.

Ushers provided the fruit while Penfolds provided the water.

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