Main Menu

Royal Mail worker runs half marathon in father’s memory

Gary Ware, from Canterbury, has decided to run the London Landmarks Half Marathon, in honour of his father, and close friends and family who have been affected by cancer.

Gary Ware and his parents

Image: Gary with his parents. Credit: Gary Ware

'Cancer research means a lot to me'

Gary, who works as a manager at Royal Mail’s Medway Mail Centre, will be running the London Landmarks Half Marathon in April 2022 to raise money for The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), in London.

“The main reason I’m running is because cancer research means a lot to me,” said Gary. “Cancer has had a massive impact on my life.”

“In July 2017, I lost my dad, Terry, to mantle cell lymphoma. He was very poorly throughout, and it was a terrible time. Dad was diagnosed in October 2016, and had chemotherapy, but they told him there was no cure, so he was placed on medication to prolong his life.”

“Dad had worked as a police officer in Canterbury for 20 years, then worked for a local steel company. He was very social, he loved his holidays with Mum, and he loved fishing and football.

“He also loved his grandchildren, and his time with them was very precious. When Dad became very poorly, I remember him sitting there, shaking his head, thinking ‘how have I got to this’.”

Gary’s father spent a lot of time in hospital while he was unwell, and Gary would visit him as often as he could.

“The hospital was quite close to my house, so I used to see him a lot. Some weeks, I’d see him every day, even if it was just popping in for 20 minutes in the morning to say hello.”

Sadly, Terry passed away on 20 July 2017. Gary decided to run for the ICR, which has an unrivalled track record in cancer drug discovery, as he wants to make a difference to others who might be going through the same thing. 

Our scientists are leading research to help patients living with lymphoma and other blood cancers. They are studying the biology of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system, to improve diagnosis and develop tailored treatments. 

Learn more about our blood cancer research

'I want to make a difference'

Gary Ware with his partner, Michelle, and his parents

Image: Gary with his partner Michelle and his parents. Credit: Gary Ware

“This fundraiser is very personal to me. As well as losing my dad, I also lost a really close friend to cancer in April 2020. Tim was only 51 when he died of leukaemia, and he spent a lot of his time going in and out of hospital. We lost Tim during Covid, and we never had the opportunity to celebrate his life, although we will all be attending a memorial service for Tim on 26 March this year.

“My sister-in-law Orla was diagnosed with breast cancer quite recently. She’s just finished chemotherapy, and has her surgery booked in for 1 April, and then she’ll have radiotherapy. Orla has had a tough time all round, and this adds to my reasons for supporting ICR.”

Gary originally set his fundraising total as £500, but he has been overwhelmed by the generosity of his friends and family, which he says really does reflect the impact cancer has had on all of our lives. Gary has raised over £1000, and he hopes to keep pushing the total as the race gets closer.

“I’ve seen a lot of people come through cancer which is amazing, and I want to help anyone who is diagnosed. I want to make a difference.”

To donate, please visit:

Help us finish cancer

As well as being a world-leading cancer research institute, we are a charity. Your support today will help us deliver urgently-needed smarter, kinder treatments for cancer patients, to help them live longer and live well with cancer. Please support us today to help us finish cancer.

Let’s finish cancer together


In this section

Royal Mail worker runs half marathon in father's memory Go-karting enthusiast organises 10th anniversary race in honour of his friend Team ICR steps up to help Carina ICR research hub named in honour of Artemis Wood Manchester father releases EP to fundraise in son’s honour Suffolk farmer flies 7,750 miles in home-built plane to raise money for charity Librarian closes chapter on another charity challenge Inspirational young woman smashes target of raising £21K for the ICR before 21st birthday Marathon runner dedicates each mile to someone who had died from cancer Breast cancer survivor keeps running as a legacy to her father Abbie’s Army join #teamICR for the London Marathon Runner inspired by friend takes her place in #teamICR Fast friends run half marathon around London’s greatest landmarks Great North Run 2018 And I would run 500 miles… for cancer research Matt rode 250km across Norway and Sweden on a husky sled to live by his late grandfather’s mantra Marika set to run three marathons in a month for The ICR despite her incurable breast cancer Caroline trains for the London Marathon to regain her fitness following cancer treatment Joining #teamICR has motivated James through his training for the London Marathon Make John Proud – raising money for male breast cancer research Sian Baker: the reason I cycled 100 miles Son’s memory inspires research into a rare brain tumour