A man from Berkshire who has lost his right leg to cancer will take on the London Marathon this weekend.
Jimmy Hall, who was treated at the University College Hospital, is running the 21.6 mile challenge on Sunday to raise money for the UCLH Charity Cancer Fund.
Jimmy, who turned 45 on Wednesday, is no stranger to the London Marathon – this is his fifth attempt but his first as a transtibial runner.
He said: “It has taken me many years to adapt to living with a prosthetic limb. It took the best part of a year to learn how to walk again, particularly since my prosthetic limb weighs about 3kg and I had to learn how to navigate the added weight to my residual limb.
“I experienced everything from phantom limb pain to blisters, sores, benign tumours, bruising and ingrown hairs. Last October I struggled to run three miles on my running blade. But I was determined to succeed and I am currently running 32 miles a week, with my longest run to date being 16 miles.”
Hall was diagnosed in September 2015 with Ewing Sarcoma – a rare cancer that effects bones or bone tissues. For James it has meant relearning everything following his amputation.
Jimmy said: “I have had to relearn how to do everything. I learnt how to walk again, take a shower, drive a car…then over time, I learnt how to cycle, ski and here I am now training for a marathon 11 years after my last one.
“It’s not easy, but I don’t give up easily.”
But perhaps the biggest test for James has been the mental hurdle and rebuilding his family life with his wife Charlotte and three children.
He said: “Post all treatment and something that I was naive to was the mental challenge in rebuilding my life, our life as a couple, and as a family.
“The positives are we came through the other side, notably with a few scars, tales and war stories and I cannot thank all those that supported us enough.
“An experience like this either makes you or break you and we are very lucky that we came out stronger as a couple and as a family.”
But running the Marathon for Jimmy is also about inspiring his children. He said: “I am naturally quite a driven person and have a high-pressure job. But I also wanted to show my children that you can still do everything you want to, even if you have a disability.
All the funds raised will go towards helping the small Sarcoma team at UCLH. “Like many of us I never believed it would happen to me, but it did.” said Jimmy, “I now want to do my small bit to thank those that gave me that second chance.”
You can donate to Jimmy’s JustGiving fundraiser here.
Main image: Jimmy Hall.