Joe gives his #ReasonToRun the London Marathon

Joe Gallagher will be running the London Marathon for Moorfields Eye Charity on Sunday 23 April. The Virgin Money London Marathon is

“My story began in November 2015. Following a visit to the optician my wife Karen was referred to Moorfields Eye Hospital to have a small lump on her eye looked at.  We attended Moorfields for the first time in early December 2015 and were very worried, not really knowing what to expect. We spent a long day at the hospital while Karen went through numerous examinations and finally got to speak to the consultant.  That is the moment our lives changed forever. Karen was diagnosed with an ocular melanoma, a very rare form of eye cancer that affects approximately sevent people in every million. We were told the best way to treat it was a course of proton beam therapy.

The proton beam therapy was performed at Clatteridge Cancer Centre near Liverpool in January 2016, where we spent five days.  Since then we have been to Moorfields and St Barts numerous times for scans and check-ups and so far everything is going very well – the tumour is responding to the treatment as expected.  We will be attending Moorfields and St Barts for many years to come.

So how did I end up doing the London Marathon? Having been unlucky in previous entries I entered for the final time as I turned 50 years old and much to my surprise I received my acceptance notification in October 2016.  From that day we decided that we would try and raise some money to say thank you to Moorfields for all they had done for Karen.  On every visit to Moorfields and St Barts they have always been very professional and reassuring.  We have met some lovely people at the hospital, including  Nana and Sinead, who are always on hand to answer questions via email or phone and have been a lifeline for us. 

Having been an on/off runner for a few years the London Marathon is the ultimate goal for me, so my training began in October 2016: miles and miles of running through the cold and dark winter evenings trying to build up the stamina and strength to achieve my goal of completing the course. 26.2 miles lie ahead on 23 April,where I will wear the Moorfields running top in support of the hospital. I have a Just Giving page where any donation is very welcome and would be very much appreciated for this wonderful charity that does so much work for people with all sorts of eye problems.”  

Joe’s Just Giving page is