A 77-strong team of family and friends will take on the annual Two Castles Run raising thousands of pounds for Sarcoma UK in memory of Kenilworth Wardens Cricket Chair and Captain James Madley.
Popular cricketer James died aged just 29, weeks after a shock cancer diagnosis.
What was thought to be just tiredness and heartburn in May 2018, was soon found to be a fast-growing lump in James’s abdomen. He was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma called rhabdomyosarcoma – a soft tissue cancer that grows in active muscles in the body.
The doctors planned a course of chemotherapy to shrink the tumour with a hope of removing it later, but it grew so rapidly it overwhelmed James and he died just two months later on July 28 2018.
A group of devoted friends and family have signed up to run the Two Castles Run on June 9 from Warwick to Kenilworth in his memory. Some of the family members running in the race include his wife Katie Madley, his father Jon Madley, his brother George Madley and many more.
The team has already surpassed their £5,000 target and the donations are still coming in through a Just Giving page online.
James’ wife Katie, parents Jon and Carole, and brother George, have been overwhelmed by the generosity and support.
James’ dad Jon Madley said: “The amount of support we have seen for this cause has been incredible, and it means a lot to the family that we can fundraise through the Two Castles Run, which was a regular tradition for James. He took part in the Two Castles Run almost every year since he was 17. His best time was 43 minutes.”
Diagnosis of sarcoma is very difficult, and survival rates are low compared to other cancers. Fifteen people are diagnosed with sarcoma every day in the UK. That’s about 5,300 people a year.
Sarcoma UK receives no government funding, it relies solely on voluntary donations. The charity aims to find an effective treatment for the disease by 2020.
James’ dad added: “By raising money for Sarcoma UK we can help to find an effective treatment for this awful disease. There’s still so much to be done in this area, so every penny raised by our huge team of runners will make a difference.”
All runners supporting James for Sarcoma UK will be wearing specially designed T-shirts donated by friends of the family.
More fundraising is taking place on the summer solstice, 21st June, when Kenilworth Wardens Cricket Club will be hosting a six-a-side tournament from dawn until dusk in memory of James and to raise money for Sarcoma UK.
The team’s Just Giving page, set up by James’ family, has reached over £10,000 so far, in support of Sarcoma UK. If you would like to make a donation, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jamesmadley
James’ wife, Katie Madley, added: “During the whole period James was in hospital, despite everything, he remained optimistic, speaking often about future plans and what he would like to do once this tumour had gone.
“James wanted to spend more time with the people he loved and to play more cricket.
“If love was enough, James would still be here.”