Belfast Telegraph

Love for Paula turns Stuart into a charity marathon man

by Natalie Gorman

A Newtownabbey man is gearing up to pound the streets of London this Sunday — paving his way with gold for a charity very close to his heart.

First time marathon runner Stuart Campbell (27), will be running the first of his two marathons on Sunday (April 17), to “pay something back” for having a wife who managed successfully to beat childhood cancer.

In his bid to raise £2,000 for cancer charity Children with Leukemia, Stuart will be dressed as one of the Mr Men at the Virgin London Marathon this weekend.

Stuart explains: “This isn’t just my first time marathon, it’s my first time anything athletic. I’ve been training since November last year but unfortunately I sprained my foot which set me back five weeks and I haven’t to date ran the 26.2 mile distance in one go.

“I felt it was time to give something back for having such a wonderful wife, who thankfully managed to make a full recovery from acute lymphoblastic leukemia after being diagnosed in 2000 with the disease at just 16.

For a time she couldn't speak or walk after taking a life-threatening reaction to a dose of chemotherapy. It wasn’t until early 2003 that Paula was finally in full remission and I met her in July of that year on a night out — I knew I had met someone special and this was the first day of her new life.

“We now have two lovely children, Chloe and Megan. I have so much to be thankful for and for me this is a way I can repay my gratitude.”

On Monday, May 2, Stuart will be donning his running shoes again for the River Rock Belfast Marathon challenge.

To donate to Stuart’s funding pot visit www.justgiving.com/StuartCampbell83.

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