A TEENAGER whose life was saved by a London hospital is raising tens of thousands of pounds by running for its cause.
Theo Gelernter, 18, is head boy at John Lyon School, in Harrow, and is running the London Marathon on the 10th anniversary of when he was released from Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Theo was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a rare form of cancer, and was admitted to the children’s hospital on the day of his eighth birthday.
He underwent six months of painful chemotherapy and was discharged almost 10 years ago to the day of this year’s marathon, which is on Sunday.
He said: “I have wanted to do this for a few years, but this is the first year I have been allowed. It’s also the tenth anniversary of leaving hospital, so it seemed the right time.
“I wanted to do something for the people who saved my life.”
Theo, of Cullera Close, Northwood, has already raised more than £10,000 and his school has taken up the cause as their charity for this year, making more than £20,000 already.
The A-level student, who hopes to go to Nottingham University next year, added that as it was such a personal cause people were more willing to donate.
His father, Paul, said: “If you had asked me ten years ago when I saw him going through the awful chemotherapy whether he would ever run a marathon I would have said ‘no’.
“I am beside myself with pride.
“To do something like this you have to have a personal cause and for Theo this is obviously something that is close to his heart.”
Theo’s mum, Linda, ran the London Marathon for Great Ormond Street ten years ago and raised more than £35,000.
Theo added: “My mum has been a great support and she has helped me with training and her and my dad have both helped with fundraising – they have been amazing.”
To donate money to Theo and Great Ormond Street go to www.justgiving.com/Theo-Gelernter
? Are you running the London Marathon or cheering someone who is? Send in your photos from the day including medal photos, with your name and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org.