When she lines up for the Asda Foundation Leeds Half Marathon – her first Run For All event – on Sunday 12th May, Emily Disken will have her cousin, Joe, very much in mind.
Joe had just completed his first year at Lancaster University when he was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer. Following surgery, he returned to university but in July 2016 the cancer recurred and was incurable. Joe died in February this year. He was 23-years-old.
Emily, who grew up in West Yorkshire and now works as a town planner in London, said: “I was very close to my cousin Joe. He was a couple of years younger than me - the same age as my brother Patrick. He was a big Leeds United fan and loved travelling and photography and had a real dry sense of humour.
“He was a huge part of our annual family trips away. We will miss him so so much and our family won't be the same without him.”
Emily is taking on the half marathon in memory of Joe and to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
She said: “Joe received palliative treatment at St James's Hospital in Leeds and was cared for in the Teenage Cancer Trust Young Adult Unit. Our family is incredibly grateful for the level of support and facilities that he was given access to, which were provided by the trust and not funded by the NHS.
“I know that it would mean a lot to my Auntie Sephie, Uncle Pete and Joe's brother and sister, Fergus and Millie, if as much money could be raised for the Teenage Cancer Trust as possible. This will enable the charity to continue their amazing work and help even more young people with cancer.
“This is my first Run For All event. I have chosen Leeds Half as it is the city I grew up in and me and my family have many happy memories with Joe there.”
To support Emily’s fundraising go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emily-disken2