By Rose Barrett
A Dublin man who lost his dad to cancer is set to run a marathon in his memory to raise funding and awareness for the Irish Cancer Society.
Jonathon Gilchrist from Phibsboro knows well the impact of the cruel disease which remains the biggest killer in Ireland with one person dying from cancer every hour.
He told Dublin Gazette: “My dad Michael died in 2018 at 63. He was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer about nine months before he passed, leaving four adult children and my heartbroken mother Josephine.
“In 2019, Mam’s sister Dolly died also from cancer and their brother, Charlie, in 2016 from the disease. In September last year, my dad’s brother Jimmy died from an aggressive cancer.”
Jonathon, who works for Universal Music Ireland as a digital media planner, decided to host a fundraiser in aid of the Irish Cancer Society (ICS).
He explained: “I lost my job due to Covid-19 in April. Then Universal got in touch but I could only start in September. Like many during the Covid restrictions, I found the time without work hard.
“My work entails looking after social media campaigns so exercise was never one of my key priorities. But lately I’ve been more active. At the end of July, I did a 10K, and I thought that was hard!
“Since I decided to do the fundraiser, I joined the Inner City Running Club. It’s only recently established, but a great outlet for people to get together and stay fit.”
The club now has over 100 members training on Mondays at the Grangegorman College campus and on Wednesdays in the Phoenix Park.
Jonathon, who admitted it had been an emotional time for the family, said: “Last weekend I did a 33km route from the city centre to Sandymount, then over to the Phoenix Park and continuing the run there.
“I decided to run a marathon and dedicate it to Dad and Uncle Jimmy, and to remember Auntie Dolly and Uncle Charlie. In only five weeks, I’ve gotten fit; I set a target of €1,000 but already we are over €1,200.
“I’m doing the run on October 24, and anything anyone can donate would be appreciated, however small.” To donate visit www.gofundme.com/f/24rjxebfk0.