Friends limber up for charity race challenge

Brett Swiffen and Jodie Smith will run the London Marathon next month
Brett Swiffen and Jodie Smith will run the London Marathon next month

Two friends will run the London Marathon in a drive to raise funds for charities close to their hearts.

Brett Swiffen and Jodie Smith, both members of Sowerby Bridge Snails Running Club, are busy training to tackle the iconic race which will be held next month.

It’s a personal challenge for Brett and Jodie, who have both been spurred on by the help they received from their chosen charities.

Brett, 39, is running for the Anthony Nolan Trust. In 2007, his world was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with incurable stage four b follicular lymphoma on his 30th birthday - just days before his twin daughters turned one.

Brett, a consultant automotive engineer, said: “My world fell apart and after two years of chemotherapy I was losing my battle against cancer. It spread throughout my body, including my neck, armpits, groin and organs then eventually into my spine. I was told I may never walk again.”

Brett then faced a bone marrow transplant in 2010, which he was told would either kill or cure him.

He added: “I said goodbye to my girls for what I honestly thought would be the last time.”

The transplant was successful and Brett, who is now in remission, says completing the marathon ten years on from his cancer battle would mean the world to him.

Jodie, 38, from Sowerby Bridge, is running the marathon to raise awareness of the Meningitis Now charity.

Her son Corey, now 21, was in intensive care as a baby after contracting meningococcal septicaemia.

The mum-of-three, who works for Lloyds Bank, has never forgotten the work of staff and now wants to help other people facing a similar ordeal.

She urged people to be aware of the symptoms of meningitis.

* Are you holding a charity fundraiser? Email your stories and photos to: newsdesk@halifaxcourier.co.uk