10 employees from Rochdale-based IT distribution company, Euro Options, are taking on the Manchester Half Marathon for The Christie. 

They’re running in memory of their former colleague and friend, Dave Whitehead, who was born and raised in Oldham, but later moved to Rochdale. He died from secondary bowel cancer in March this year, aged just 56. Dave was diagnosed with cancer 7 years ago and had an operation to remove the tumour at the Royal Oldham Hospital. Unfortunately, 2 years later, it was found that the cancer had spread to his lungs. He was given several rounds of chemotherapy and a trial immunotherapy drug at The Christie. However, by 2020 the cancer had spread further and sadly Dave passed away in March 2022. 

“Dave was so well-liked by everyone that met him and he was a great friend of all of us at Euro Options,” comments Ian Tait, Dave’s colleague and friend. “We met at work, but our dads actually worked together. Such a small world.
“The cancer was a real battle, especially towards the end, but the staff at The Christie dealt with him and his family beautifully. We wanted to thank them for everything they’ve done, so we decided to do the half marathon and raise some money for The Christie charity. We’ll run over 130 miles between the 10 of us, quite a feat!”

Ian, who is 50 and also lives in Rochdale, has another reason to take on the challenge. He is also a patient at The Christie, having been diagnosed last year with non-Hodgkin lymphoma – a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, a network of vessels and glands found throughout your body. 

“Being diagnosed with cancer is scary, but I know that I’ll get the best care and support at The Christie,” comments Ian. “I don’t have to have any treatment yet, but things can change at any time and I might end up doing the race on treatment. I’ve done marathons before, but this will be by far the most emotional run I’ve ever done. We all just want to do Dave proud.”  

“Dave would be so chuffed to see what the Euro Options team are doing in his memory,” comments Lesley, Dave’s widow. “The Christie team were brilliant all the way through his treatment, I really can’t thank them enough. Organising this sponsored run is our way of giving back. I’ll be there on the day to cheer them on.” 

“Ian and the team are so passionate about The Christie and I’m delighted that they’re doing the Manchester Half for us,” comments Lindsey Farthing, sporting events manager at The Christie charity. “Anyone who is doing it is still able to fundraise for us. We’d love to see as many people as possible in our t-shirts on the day.” 

The Manchester Half Marathon takes place on Sunday 9 October. To find out more or get involved, please visit our Manchester Half Marathon page.

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families.