Janet Buckley is taking part in her second London Marathon and this year will be joined by her husband Darren to run in memory of their son Liam, who sadly died of cancer in October 2015. Here, Janet tells their story.
“‘Run it for me mum’ - these words echoed in my head as I completed the London Marathon last year for my wonderful 23-year-old son Liam who fought so bravely against terminal cancer - a fight he sadly lost in October 2015.
"I thought of Liam all the way round London, it was extremely difficult both emotional and physically, I had a swollen knee and achilles tendinosis, but I needed to complete it for Liam. I cried and I smiled but I finished for him.
“He showed such tremendous courage throughout his illness, never once did he moan or complain. 'inspirational' was the word used by everyone to describe him.
"Liam was very bright and had been away studying aerospace engineering at university, he hadn't been home for around eight weeks because of exams, and when he did come home I noticed he had lost a bit of weight, I put it down to studying and not eating right but when he said he kept getting stomach ache I booked him in to see the doctor.
“Just two weeks later he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He was a healthy boy before that ate healthily, loved football and F1, we never expected this.
“Our CLIC Sargent Social Worker Louise was with Liam and our family every step of the way and still supporting us now. Every day that passes is a battle that we have to keep living, all we are left with are photos and precious memories.
Liam believed in me
"He knew I had always wanted to run the London marathon but never had the courage to do it. In fact, I had never run more than six miles but Liam believed in me and kept on saying 'run it for me, mum'.
“That was Liam, always thinking of others, knowing that his time was running out he thought of me and how training for the marathon would help see me through the hard times ahead. He found out I had got a place just two days before he died.
London Marathon 2017
“So here I am preparing myself to run the marathon for a second year and of course I know it's going to be tough again, there may be difficulties ahead but whatever happens I know I can do it because this year not only will I have Liam by my side, I will also have my husband Darren, Liam's dad.
“He saw how much it meant to me last year and how proud I was, so he too is going to run, run every step for our Liam as I did last year.
“He, like me is not a runner either so I'm sure he will encounter his own difficulties along the way but together we will get through it as we have done everything else. We will succeed in keeping our beloved son's memory alive and all that he lived for, as well as raising vital funds for CLIC Sargent.
A BIG thank you
"I think that by raising money for CLIC Sargent all the family can say a big thank you to some of the people who have helped. So, on Sunday 23 April we will put on our running vests (with Liam's picture on the front) and complete the London Marathon - running 26.2 miles will be nothing compared to what he went through.
"Liam, I know, will be with us every step of the way and as we cross the finishing line we will look at his picture and say 'we did it, we ran it for you'.
Find out more
To support Janet and Darren in their fundraising for CLIC Sargent visit their official JustGiving page.
To find out how you can take part in an upcoming running event for CLIC Sargent, please contact our Running Events team on 0845 602 4770 or firstname.lastname@example.org