Amy McCandlish has only one regret when she looks forward to taking on the Asda Foundation Bury 10K – her beloved dad, Sam, won’t be there to see her cross the finish line.
He died on April 3 this year four years after being diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable lung disease.
Amy, 41, who lives in Rossendale, is running on Sunday 15th September to raise money for Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis, a charity which supports patients and is helping to fund research into effective treatments.
Until her dad’s diagnosis, Amy knew nothing about pulmonary fibrosis.
She said: “When my parents told me, I'd never even heard of the condition and at the time I wasn't too concerned until I did more research and found that idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a terminal condition, there's no cure and only two forms of treatment that may help slow down progression.”
Sam suffered frequent chest infections and often struggled to breath. In April this year he was diagnosed with pneumonia.
Amy said: “He was put on the super strength antibiotics but later that day told that the medical team didn't think they'd got time for the antibiotics to work as they generally needed 24-48 hours.
“I arrived at the hospital at 1.15am on Wednesday 3rd April and seeing him there fighting to breath was horrific. He fought incredibly hard but at 11.50am he passed away.
“Seeing what my dad went through and how quickly it all changed and how frightened he was has made me determined to help others. Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis are funding a research programme to understand more about the condition and I want to help fund this and find a cure, or at least an effective treatment.”
Bury will be Amy’s first 10K.
She said: “Earlier this year I decided to do the Bury 10k but my training was a bit hit and miss. Then when I went to hospital to see my dad on the early hours of 3rd April, one of the first things I told him was that I was going to do the Bury 10k to raise money for Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis. Little did I know at the time that I'd be running in his memory
“After my dad passed way I signed up to do the 10k and I started doing the couch to 5k. It's been hard, incredibly hard but I'm now running for 30 minutes non-stop which I never thought I'd do.
“I'm really looking forward to doing it for my dad. I just wish he was here to see it.”
Amy’s fundraising can be supported at justgiving.com/fundraising/amy-and-debs.