Beth honours brother by taking on the London Marathon

Beth Harper is competing in the London Marathon. in memory of her brother Christopher. ANL-160320-111917009

Beth Harper is competing in the London Marathon. in memory of her brother Christopher. ANL-160320-111917009

A sister will be taking on the London Marathon to honour her brother who lost his battle to cancer last year.

Beth Harper is tackling the 26-mile course to raise money for Down’s Syndrome in honour of her inspirational brother Christopher, who would have been 26 this year.

Christopher Harper

Christopher Harper

Sadly Christopher, who was a vivacious character with an infectious smile, died on February 2 last year.

Christopher, who was a regular at Linnets and a keen collector of CDs, had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in 2014.

Miss Harper, 28, of St Germans, said: “Chris would have been 26 this year and it seemed appropriate to run 26 miles for him. I wanted to do something positive.

“Christopher was a real character. He had an infectious smile and giggle.

“We are a very close family. Christopher’s story is inspirational.”

Christopher, who had attended the Park High School, had been healthy until May 2014 when he was diagnosed.

But the condition did not hold energetic Christopher back. He continued attending his day centre at Fincham, shopping with his carer and spending time with his family.

Miss Harper said: “He had a lovely summer and did everything he wanted to do. He had a bucket list of car boot sales he wanted to go to which we supported.”

But his condition had worsened by Christmas 2014 and was prevented from attending matches at The Walks.

Miss Harper said: “He fought his cancer with such inimitable strength, humour and bravery for nine months.”

Now Miss Harper, who took up running after Christopher’s diagnosis, is gearing up for the marathon on Sunday, April 24.

She is hoping to complete the course within five hours and added: “It will be sheer bloody mindedness as I want to do it for this charity.

“I am following a training programme and go out four times a week.”

Miss Harper will be supported by friends and colleagues, who will be there on the day.

She said: “I ran a race last year and you can’t underestimate the effect the crowd can have in pulling you on when you hit the wall.

“I think Christopher would be impressed that I am running the marathon.”

Miss Harper, a teacher, has already hit her £2,000 target but is hoping to raise more for the charity. To support go to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/BethanyHarper