Have you ever wondered which of your friends would come through for you when the going got tough?
Last weekend, Angus Dixon (46, a University Lecturer), ran the Glasgow half marathon and secured an impressive personal best of 1 hr 46 min and 29 secs. Notably, he beat his previous year’s time by 2.5 mins. But he did so much more than just run a good race. In the days leading up to the run, keen to help raise funds for his old friend Claire, Angus set up a JustGiving page and started asking on Facebook for sponsorship, hoping at the time to raise maybe £1000 if he was lucky; not realising what was to happen next.
Angus and Claire go back a long way – about twenty years – their paths winding together through a combination of television work, friends and their children. Like many close to Claire, Angus was completely distraught when the extent of her cancer became known last year and in subsequent months began to take a worrying turn. And so Angus didn’t think twice about setting up crowdfunding for the upcoming half marathon when he heard that other friends were planning to raise money to help Claire get treatment and were looking for people to be involved.
What happened in the hours after sharing the Just Giving page had Angus and his wife, Victoria, in tears and completely shocked with the amazing online response. The original £1000 target was quickly achieved and the donations kept pouring in. Angus kept increasing the goal but the proceeds continued to rise. Within days he had smashed £10K and yet the donations were not slowing down. By the time he sprinted across the finish line to his best time, and the cheers of Claire and her family, Angus had raised over £16,000.
Perhaps the most poignant aspect of this heart warming tale is that Angus’ own mother, Marie, was lost to cancer when he was just 23 years old. Marie was herself a talented and determined runner, whose tenacity and sporting drive clearly remain alive in Angus all these years later. What a fitting legacy that Marie’s spirit lives on in her son, enabling him to run – and run so well – to fight back against cancer for Claire.
Well done Angus, you have done your wee mum proud.