Greenwich man walked London Marathon in aid of Myeloma UK

Charles Montlake raised £16,448 for Myeloma UK by walking to from his home in Greenwich to the O2 arena.

The 59-year-old, who suffers from myeloma and the related condition AL amyloidosis, completed the 26.2 miles in four stretches and just over 10 hours.

He was joined by 35 friends and family members throughout the day.

The father-of-one said: “It took over 10 hours but we did it.

“Donations are still coming in and I hope we can raise £20,000 for Myeloma UK. If it wasn’t for the charity and the information they provide to GPs and doctors, I don’t think my kidney specialist would have suspected I had myeloma and I wouldn’t have been diagnosed early.

“I had a whole group of people on every leg with me – about 35 people joined me in total. I had a good laugh every time and it was absolutely lovely to have people I know and love with me. I’ve been amused at seeing them all shattered after just one leg!”

The gruelling walk was his second virtual challenge for Myeloma UK.

Last year, Charles, his wife, son and 87-year-old mother completed a marathon relay, each taking turns walking up and down their flat’s 11-metre balcony.

They clocked up no fewer than 3,000 lengths over 10 hours to reach the symbolic finish line, raising about £12,000 in the process.

“You spend your life putting things off until tomorrow but I can’t,” Charles said. “My oncologist told me a year ago that my prognosis was seven to 10 years.

“I could spend the next seven years or so I have left bemoaning the fact that I only have seven years to live or I could spend the next seven years living them.

I know that my myeloma will come back and steal my energy again – it creeps up on you. But while I’ve got energy I thought I would do something useful.”

Myeloma UK proved “a lifeline” as successive rounds of treatment and the inescapability of his prognosis began to take a physical and emotional toll.

“In my early days and in my dark days which, fortunately, are few, I’ve turned to the Myeloma UK website and newsletter,” he explained. “When I say Myeloma UK is my lifeline, I mean it.

There are times when people like me need a lifeline and Myeloma UK is there when we need them. It’s an amazing thing to know.

I’ve relied on Myeloma UK more than once for my mental wellbeing and I feel there’s going to come a time when my family will be really reliant on the information provided by the charity.”

To donate, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charlesmontlake

For more information about myeloma or to get in touch with Myeloma UK go to www.myeloma.org.uk.

Myeloma UK runs an infoline on0800 980 3332.

 


 

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