Matt Fowler: 'Why I support the Appeal'

Recently, we put out a tweet asking our wonderful Appeal Team why they choose to support the Appeal. One of our fabulous fundraisers, Matt Fowler, went above and beyond a simple tweet to describe his reasons why. Here is what he said...

A tweet came from the Jane Tomlinson Appeal recently with the above question and so it got me thinking (dangerous I know) about exactly why I support the Appeal.

The reasons are varied I guess. Born and raised in Kippax, a very short distance from Rothwell where Jane lived, I knew of Jane's fight against cancer through local press and their reports on the many challenges she took on. I was not a runner then but the community spirit is strong and you always got a sense of pride from her achievements. One of our own taking on cancer with true Yorkshire grit.

When I did finally pull on my running shoes in 2011 the idea of running races was not even in my mind. I wanted to lose some weight and get a little healthier. Steady 3 mile jogs started to become 4 miles then 5. The competitive nature I have had since childhood brought the Leeds 10K into focus and of course, like many others, the default mind set is "If I'm going to take on a challenge let's raise some money too".

Jane's Appeal was a natural fit, a local charity founded by a local girl raising money for children's and adult cancer causes, so I signed up. Instantly I received support that was beyond anything I expected. Emails and calls offering advice from the Appeal Team and free T-Shirts (as many of you know the Jane's Appeal T-Shirt is like a second skin for me now); you could not ask for a more supporting network of people.

The Appeal and Run For All staff made the first race an amazing experience and the running bug had struck. Having done the Leeds 10K I entered again the year after and from there it was onto my first half marathon in 2013 (Leeds) and then finally my first full marathon in 2015. (Yorkshire) There have also been many other 10K's and half marathons in between all in the name of The Jane Tomlinson Appeal (Over 30 races in the last 3 years and many more to come no doubt).

Two things have remained constant, the support from my family to allow me to do all the training runs and support me at the finish line and Jane's Appeal's outstanding commitment to keep her legacy alive. It is a bit of a cliché but it is a large family. You join the Appeal and you feel part of something, it is tangible.

The Appeal family continues to grow and the core group of Appealers who are at the Run For All events continues to get stronger and a little more crazy, you know who you are……

I feel privileged to be part of this great charity, I'm lucky that I am fit and healthy enough to put one foot in front of the other to raise some money for those who are in a need of a little help. I will continue to run and raise money because it is an absolute blast meeting up with the #AppealTeam.

My 3rd Yorkshire Marathon is the big event this year and plans are currently in the pipeline for something even more crazy than a marathon next year along with Steve and Robbie. As the legend of the Appeal Emily says, "Running is Funning". 

We are so grateful for Matt's support and his kind words. You can support Matt's fundraising this year on his Just Giving page or by texting MATF76 £5 to 70070.