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Cyclist lacing-up running shoes to thank Cancer Unit

Cycling enthusiast Johannes Dethleff from Bath, who can normally be found firmly on two wheels, is stepping off his bike this March to hit the city’s pavements and run 13.1 miles. He is stepping firmly outside his comfort zone to say thank you to the Cancer Unit at the Royal United Hospital for caring for his girlfriend, Layla Redman, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2012 – just days before her thirtieth birthday. Johannes will be joining The Forever Friends Appeal’s team, running to support the Hospital, in the Vitality Bath Half Marathon 2015.

Johannes is no stranger to a cycling challenge and has ridden a variety of 100 mile events including a London to Paris bike ride, but lacing up a pair of trainers and going for a run is an entirely different matter. He comments: “I have chosen to take part in the Vitality Bath Half as both a challenge for myself coming from a cycling background and never having tried my hand at running, and to help raise funds for such a fantastic cause – the RUH Cancer Care Campaign.”

Having spent some time in the unit over the past few years, he explains: “I am also running to say thank you to the RUH Cancer Unit who saved my partner’s life a few years ago after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and for their support and care throughout her surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and now her ongoing recovery. The staff on the unit are brilliant – friendly, supportive and understanding and always willing to answer any questions and give advice. They were always willing to see us at short notice if we were worried or upset about anything and would go out of their way to help us through the most difficult experience of our lives and are still helping now. We couldn’t have hoped for a better team of people to be there for us and can’t think of a better way to say thank you than to help raise funds for a brand new Cancer Centre, not just for the patients and their families but the staff as well.”

Silver Bond places for The Forever Friends Appeal are still available and can be purchased on the Appeal’s website for just £35, with a pledge to raise a further minimum sponsorship of £175 for the RUH Cancer Care Campaign or a ward or department close to your heart.  But please be quick, as the entry deadline is Thursday 22nd January.  This popular race, located in the historic city of Bath, will take place on Sunday 1st March 2015.


The RUH Cancer Care Campaign is currently over half way to achieving its aim of raising £8.5 million, which will contribute vital funds to the building of a pioneering new Cancer Centre for the Royal United Hospital in Bath.   Events Fundraiser for The Forever Friends Appeal, Laura Pearce, comments:  “The new Cancer Centre will transform the care of our patients and their families here at the RUH – making them feel safe, supported and special at what is a very difficult time.  We wish Johannes and everyone running with The Appeal’s team the best of luck with their training over the next month or so and we look forward to cheering them all around the 13.1 mile course on race day!”

To sponsor Johannes, please visit his fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/HannesHalf

Photos ©Paul Gillis

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