Simon Bibby will be running the New York marathon for Ronald McDonald House after watching his young daughter battle a brain tumour.
Former Habergham High School student Simon, 44, who now lives in Norway working for oil giant Shell, was devastated when his youngest daughter, Sadie, then four, was suddenly diagnosed with a brain tumour in June last year.
She was airlifted to Bergen Hospital where she underwent eight hours of emergency surgery, but needed further surgery to remove the tumour in August last year at NYU Langone hospital in New York.
Clarets fan Simon, along with wife Michelle, stayed in Ronald McDonald House while Sadie had her pioneering surgery in America and the youngster, now five, is thankfully on the road to recovery.
The couple, who have two older children Luke and Lauren, are battling through and Simon has been training to run the 26.2 miles on November 6th.
“Sadie’s diagnosis was the words that no parent wants to hear,” said Simon, who still has family in Burnley.
“It was by far the worst time of our lives.
“However, Ronald McDonald House provides a ‘home away from home’ for families from around the world while their children receive cancer treatment.
“We stayed there last summer for six weeks when Sadie had successful surgery to remove a brain tumour which made our time in New York significantly easier.
“At no point did we worry about where we were going to stay, how much it was going to cost and whether we could afford it.
“These are additional stresses that no parent whose child is fighting a life threating illness should have to worry about. We were able to concentrate solely on Sadie and her recovery.
“Sadie has recovered remarkably well and is now back to school in Stavanger. The tumour has completely gone and we hope it will never return.”
Michelle, from Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, has already raised almost £3,000 for Ronald McDonald House and Simon is now aiming to raise a further £10,000 through his first marathon.
Go to www.crowdrise.com/simon-rmhny-marathon16/fundraiser/simonbibby to support Simon.