Anthony inspires marathon effort in his memory

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THE mum of a Stirches teenager who lost his life after a courageous battle with cancer says he would be “well chuffed” that nearly 20 Teries are participating in next month’s Edinburgh Half Marathon in his memory.

The runners are the latest in a long line of friends and family who have been inspired by a lasting legacy left behind by brave Anthony Mundell who, despite succumbing to renal cell kidney cancer which spread to his right lung just over two years ago, is continuing to touch and improve the lives of others.

The group have all signed up for the capital run in a bid to raise money for the Anthony Mundell Memorial Fund, which was set up by his devoted parents in a bid to help families facing a similar heartache.

And for mum and dad Keith and Rosyln, such an effort is helping them not only strive towards the charity’s first ambition to buy a caravan near the coast to give families respite, but also cope with the huge gap which has been left in their lives.

Roslyn, who also has sons Chandler, 13, and Zack, 10, told the Hawick News: “It has been the worst pain we have felt. We miss Anthony every day and feel lost without him.

“But the charity feels like a distraction and helps us go on in our new lives without him. We feel it is keeping Anthony’s memory alive and is a great focus. We put our hearts and souls into it,” she admitted.

The grieving family’s courage mirrors that of 13-year-old Anthony who endured his illness with dignity and a smile, his mum said, adding: “He never gave up and fought every step of the way.”

And there will no-one more spurred on by his bravery during next month’s marathon than dad Keith, who said: “I’m no runner, but I feel very proud to do it for Anthony.”

But it was the plucky high school pupil himself who began the family’s fundraising quest back in June 2008 when – despite his illness – he walked across the Forth Road Bridge to raise money for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, and inspired organisers to donate the money from everyone who had taken part to the ward 2 oncology ward.

Since then Anthony has been the inspiration behind a host of fundraisers, from a West Highland Way walk, Races for Life at South Queensferry and Holyrood, to a local charity gig, halloween party, zumba session and the sale of green wristbands with the charity’s initials AMMF and ‘legend’ on them to name a few.

And the Anthony Mundell Memorial Fund has also been chosen by the Border Club as its charity for this year.

“We are overwhelmed when people support us”, Roslyn stated. “It makes me proud to think they are coming on board to help, and we are making small steps towards succeeding in our aims.”

It is hoped that the half marathon runners will be able to raise around £5,000 towards the the caravan, which costs around £20,000, as part of the charity’s plan to give Borders families much-needed care and support when a child is in treatment or passes away.

On race day the runners will be sporting special charity T-shirts, while Morrisons is supplying water, bananas and Mars Bars, and Roslyn and supporters will provide water at designated stations. She commented: “Our runners are training hard and we are overwhelmed by their support.”

And with a further 50 places to fill during the next three years, as well as a range of other fundraising activities, Roslyn added: “I think Anthony would be well chuffed with what we are doing, and humbled and proud. He would want to do as much as he could to help.”