Dad's cancer spurs Tim's marathon run
MUSICIAN Tim Whiting is facing the challenge of running the London Marathon, despite never having run a race before.
But it is the challenge from lung cancer facing his dad Bob, from Chipping Sodbury, which is driving Tim on as he raises money to help Macmillan Cancer Support.
Tim, who was born in the town and went to Chipping Sodbury School, has built a successful career in London, where he is head of music at a theatre school.
He and his partner Callum regularly visited his dad and mum Pauline to help look after them until the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible.
Pauline has the painful rheumatic condition fibromyalgia and Bob has been her carer for some time, but last year he became ill himself, with a persistent cough.
Tim said: "After two weeks in Southmead Hospital, he was diagnosed with a combination of COPD (a lung condition) and lung cancer.
"With his age, the treatments would make his life unpleasurable. I was hoping they would be able to do something.”
“I went into a bit of helpless stage. I’m an only child and I couldn’t look after my parents. I did as everyone does now, I googled, and the first thing I found was the Macmillan Cancer website.
"I was able to speak to someone and they were amazing.
"When you want to be the strong and supportive one, it’s essential that you know things, and they have empowered me to be that one person for my mum and dad.”
Tim took the plunge and signed up for the marathon despite his lack of experience.
Tim Whiting with mum Pauline and dad Bob
He said: “We don’t know how long Dad’s got left, and this seemed to be something to focus on. If this doesn’t spur me on to do it I don’t know what would.”
Tim said his father’s reaction was one of pride as well as surprise, asking him “are you sure you can do that?”
Bob has told Tim to take his time on the day, "even if it takes all night”.
Callum helps Tim to train, with some ‘tough love’, getting him out running after work, and getting him up earlier in the morning.
Tim has found it to be ‘a release’ after being indoors all day – but he isn’t enjoying it yet.
He is doing four runs a week as he builds up to the race in October, and friends and colleagues have pledged to watch on the day.
Tim is aiming to raise £2,500. To support his fundraising online visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/tim-whiting.