A determined daughter from Crosspool is striding out at this year’s Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon to remember her beloved dad who lost his battle with cancer in February.
Emma Sheehan (23) will take part in the 13-mile race through the streets of Sheffield on 10 April after losing her dad to cancer just under a month ago.
In a bid to raise funds for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, Emma signed up to the event back in 2015, unaware that by the time the day came around, her dad would no longer be with them.
After being diagnosed with bowel and peritoneal cancer in June 2015, Emma’s dad, Dave Sheehan (56) received radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment at Weston Park Hospital, the region’s only cancer hospital.
But after several infections and stays in hospital over the last few months, Emma’s family were given the devastating news that there was nothing more that could be done for Dave and he passed away at the end of February surrounded by his loving family.
“It’s been an incredibly difficult few months.” said Emma, “We are all still coming to terms with the loss of my dad and the huge void he has left, particularly for me, my mum and my elder sister, Aimee.
“Back in June 2015 when he was first diagnosed, I knew that I had to do something to raise money in support of this incredible hospital that had looked after us all so well. I signed up for the half marathon and vowed to raise money for the place which had extended dad’s life so that we were able to spend those precious final months with him.”
Weston Park Hospital is one of only a handful of specialist cancer hospitals in England and treats patients from all over South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire – a population of almost 1.8million people.
Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity is the only dedicated charity for the hospital and exists to support the world-class cancer research and to improve the treatment and care for people living with cancer.
Emma continued, “I know he’d have been so proud of me on the day when I reach the finish line and the more money I can raise beforehand will allow other families living with a cancer diagnosis to receive the support and care they so desperately need.
“I not only fully appreciate the research that helps treat so many patients, but the support for my dad by the nurses at Weston Park Hospital was priceless- sometimes no words can offer comfort like the gesture of a cuppa and biscuit!”
Emma will join thousands of people taking part in the first Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon – Sheffield, which starts and finishes in the city centre and follows a scenic route offering outstanding views of the Peak district.
The cancer charity is encouraging supporters to sign up for the event and join Team Weston Park with each runner raising vital sponsorship to support life-changing projects within Weston Park Hospital.
Charity Fundraising Manager, Sarah Cross said, “It’s incredibly brave of Emma to continue her fundraising efforts for us despite losing her Dad only a few weeks ago.”
“We would like to wish her the very best on the day and our Team Weston Park cheering squad will undoubtedly be cheering her on, loud and proud, from the sidelines.
“Emma has raised such a fantastic amount already which will help support other cancer patients and their families going through similar challenges now and in the future.”
Emma has now raised over £1,800 on her JustGiving site and has further donations to add to her total after a collection for the cancer charity was organised at Dave’s funeral.