Peter Badyra’s life turned upside down last month when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Peter’s local running club have rallied around him to take on the Leek Half Marathon that he was due to take part in on 19 August.

The otherwise fit and healthy 58-year-old was training for his second half marathon this year when he received the devastating news. Since Peter’s diagnosis, his family and friends have been working hard to raise funds for the charity, Pancreatic Cancer UK, which supports those affected by this disease, invests in ground breaking research. They reached their fundraising target of £1,000 in just 24 hours so have now raised it to £5,000.

Peter, (58), said:

“Since Christmas I felt that I was suffering from a re-occurring chest infection and started to feel more breathless when running. In May, I felt the breathlessness was increasing and my energy levels weren’t quite the same.

“It wasn’t until June that I was told that I had inoperable pancreatic cancer with possibly only months to live. Our whole world has been turned upside down. We were totally shocked and devastated.”

Nearly 900 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the West Midlands every year. Unfortunately, around 60% of pancreatic cancer patients are not diagnosed until the cancer is at an advanced stage. Pancreatic Cancer UK is taking on the disease through research, support and campaigning to transform the future for people affected.

Peter has been a member of the Blythe Bridge Running Club for five years. The club has entered 15 runners to run the Leek Half Marathon and more than 50 others will be running sections of the race to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer

On the day of the event the club will have a stall with information about pancreatic cancer, free cakes for runners and a raffle – donated prizes include a holiday and fire safety training.

Other fundraising events from the team include a cake sale on (26 September) hosted by Peter’s sister, Sonya King, and a Race Night (19 October), organised by the running club.

Peter said:

“I’m unbelievably honoured by the support everyone has shown me. I feel extremely grateful for everything all my family and friends are doing to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer. I’m touched that my running club will be taking on the Leek half marathon on my behalf this year.

“My wife Kath and my two children Hayley and Mark have been incredible during this difficult time. I’ve also received support from my employers at Stoke City FC which has meant the world to me.”

Anna McNee, West Midlands Community Coordinator for Pancreatic Cancer UK, said:

“A pancreatic cancer diagnosis can be life-changing for people and their loved ones. More research is critical for finding new treatments but sadly, pancreatic cancer only receives 1% of the UK cancer budget so it’s wonderful to see the community rallying around Peter and doing so much to raise much needed funds.”

Anna’s role at Pancreatic Cancer UK includes the promotion of services through holding information stands at local hospitals, speaking to local healthcare professionals about the free support and training the charity offers, and attending local fundraising events on behalf of the charity.

Anna added:

“We’re always looking for volunteers to get involved to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer and its symptoms. Please get in touch if you would be interested in volunteering or organising a fundraising event of your own to help Pancreatic Cancer UK reach more people like Peter.”

If you would like to support Peter Badyra and The Blythe Bridge Running Club you can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/smashingitforpete