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Charlie LaFond

NY Marathon Nov. 3, 2019 for Stephen Woodcock

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p][b] My Goal[/b][/p][p]On November 3, I’m going to run the New York Marathon (42 km). This New York Marathon is the last of the "Big Six" Marathons that I am running.[/p][p]Four years ago I set myself the goal of running the six Major Marathons before turning 63 years of age: London on April 23, 2017, Berlin on September 23, 2017, Tokyo on February 25, 2018, Chicago on October 7, 2018, Boston on March 23, 2019 and finally New York, this coming November 3, 2019.[/p][p]So, why is this one special?[/p][p][b]New York is dedicated to Stephen Woodcock[/b][/p][p]In honor of my final medal, I have chosen to run in memory of Stephen Woodcock (Lowestoft, in the UK). Stephen was a marathon runner and an avid cyclist who really impressed me with his dedication and persistence. His tenacity together with the loving support and commitment of his family enabled him to continue cycling up until a week before he passed away. [/p][p]His life was cut short because he developed ocular melanoma, a rare form of cancer. Unfortunately, around half of all patients may go on to develop tumors in other organs, particularly the liver. This sadly happened to Stephen.[/p][p][b]Why I ask you to donate[/b][/p][p]All proceeds from this run will go to [url=https://www.ocumeluk.org]OcuMel UK[/url], which is a registered charity run by eye cancer patients and family members. Its goal is to provide support for anyone affected by eye cancer. OcuMel raises awareness of eye cancer amongst the public and work with medical professionals to increase their knowledge in the field.[/p][p][b]Stephen's story (written by his daughter, Gemma)[/b][/p][p]The first time we knew Dad had an issue was from a routine opticians appointment. I remember Dad coming home and telling me that his optician had urged him to go straight to the doctor because he had a lesion in his eye. Dad was clearly troubled, but I don't think any of us knew the seriousness of the finding at that point. [/p][p]From there he went to London and met with a specialist who recommended radioactive plaque which took place in 2011. He had radioactive beads sown beside the eye which stayed there for a few days - he was quarantined during this period and we could only see him for an hour at a time. As he recovered from this procedure all looked good and the tumour in his eye began to shrink. We got on with life and Dad had regular 6 monthly scans to check on the tumour. [/p][p]Unfortunately it wasn't dead as we had believed and began growing again in 2013, so at this point enucleation was recommended and Dad's eye was removed before a prosthesis was fitted. He adjusted to life with monovision very well, although I remember he had to concentrate quite hard if he was pouring a drink! [/p][p]Life carried on and Dad went for regular six monthly ultrasounds of the liver. In 2016 a shadow was found on a scan towards the end of the year - months of other scans followed before it was confirmed to be melanoma metastasis. With no standard treatment from this point, we felt a bit lost and OcuMel helped us gather information and supported us. [/p][p]The local hospital eventually referred us to Addenbrookes in Cambridge where the surgeon said he could remove the diseased part of the liver in the hope of a cure. Dad went through an extremely painful procedure which 'glued' a section of his liver off to encourage the other part to grow and take over. A few weeks later, he went into surgery and we believed he would come out cancer-free. [/p][p]Unfortunately this wasn't to be and we returned to the hospital to the grim news that there was far more spread than the surgeon had initially thought. Dad had to wait for a few weeks so he could recover, then he began a medical trial called SELPAC which worked to slow the growth of his tumours. Initially, this worked and some even began to shrink. The reprieve was short lived and the tumours began to grow again. [/p][p]We continued to search for answers, as there was no clear path forward. A doctor at Norwich hospital suggested immunotherapy, the new 'wonder-drug' in cancer treatment. Dad had a severe reaction to this and developed hepatitis and colitis, amongst other things. We were told this could be a good sign that the drug was working, but this turned out not to be the case. [/p][p]By this time, early in 2018, the tumours were quite large and growing bigger all the time. We went to Manchester and Southampton to try to find alternative treatments, but nothing was available. Dad was going to have a last ditch attempt at chemotherapy, but sadly he died before this could be arranged. He passed away on 18th June 2018.[/p]
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Share Charlie's story


Dec 5, 2019

Maria Garschall


Nov 15, 2019


Thank you, Charlie for drumming up the support for a good cause.


Nov 12, 2019


Well done Charlie!!!


Nov 9, 2019


Well done Charlie, my utmost admiration for your commitment & dedication! Becky & family


Nov 8, 2019


Well done!


Nov 7, 2019

Dscharlie Wittmann



Nov 4, 2019


Congratulations on finishing all of your marathons! Glad to donate in honor of Stephen. I am sorry for your loss.


Nov 3, 2019

Peter Biro

Dear Charly, happy to support you. You always has been an inspiration and glad I know you as partner, motivator and educator. Keep making us proud, please do not forget sending me a picture once you completed the task ahead, thanks Peter Biro


Nov 3, 2019


£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Nov 2, 2019

Hayley and Pete

We are mega impressed you’ve managed 6 marathons. We hope that New York goes well tomorrow. We’re proud of you for running tomorrow memory of Stephen & raising money for Ocumel. With love

£40.00 plus £10.00 Gift Aid