Lords accolade for runner's contribution to cancer battle
A marathon runner played a leading part in a reception at the House of Lords hosted by Lord Willis of Knaresborough.
Ian MacQueen, who lived in Wells for 30 years, was invited to represent the 1,200 London Marathon runners who each year raise funds for Children with Cancer UK, the national charity dedicated to the fight against all childhood cancers.
The charity was started 25 years ago by Eddie O'Gorman, a friend of Ian, who had lost his son and daughter within nine months of each other to leukaemia.
Ian and two friends entered the London Marathon at that time to raise funds for the charity and Ian has run all 25 London Marathons on behalf of the charity since, collecting more than £80,000.
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Pippa Gough, who was with the charity from the start, warmly thanked Ian and his fellow runners for their support.
Lord Willis, the charity's president, outlined the progress of the charity over the years and gave special mention to the huge advances in medical research drawing attention to the fact that 25 years ago, a diagnosis of leukaemia, the most common childhood cancer, was a virtual death sentence.
Today more than 80 per cent of children diagnosed with leukaemia survive.
Ian, who recently moved to Exmouth in Devon, said it was tremendous being with the children and young adults at the reception who are fit and well, some of whom told their personal stories.
He also paid tribute to the loyal band of sponsors, many from Wells, who had supported him throughout the past 25 years.
The charity has raised £150 million in the past 25 years and has been responsible for building the special Children's Leukaemia wings at Great Ormond Street Hospital and The Bristol Children's Hospital together with funding cutting edge research into all forms of childhood cancers.
You can contact the charity via its website www.childrenwithcan cer.org.uk.