Southport man running for Bowel Cancer UK in mum’s memory

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A man from Southport is raising money following the tragic death of his mum.

Zach Jones has set himself the goal of running 600km in the next 12 months after his mum died of pneumonia following a battle with Covid-19 and cancer.

He has already smashed his £600 target and has now raised over £3000 for Bowel Cancer UK.

He said: “I am running 600km so I put in £600 as I thought that would be the right thing. After 10 hours I had surpassed it and I thought “oh my god, I’ve not even done my first run.

“It’s really amazing, I have always said I don’t like advertising it too much because I don’t want to carry on badgering people for money when they might not have any, but I am going to carry on posting it every now and then.

“I said to people if you can donate please donate, but only if you can, I don’t want them to struggle with money. I don’t know how many times I have gone over the limit; I think I’m on over £3000 now which is unbelievable, and I still have the rest of the year to complete it. I’ve just done my 50th kilometre run this morning. It’s going well.”

Mother-of-three Jane Jones was just 60-years-old when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer last year. The former primary school teacher was first told she had diverticulitis until an operation revealed a tumour.

Following a hospital visit in November, she then contracted coronavirus. Her breathing began to tighten and she was admitted to hospital again in December.

Her family were quick to tell her they would rearrange Christmas as it seemed likely she  would be in hospital into the new year. By the time January 2021 came, she had beaten coronavirus to then be told pneumonia had struck and the cancer was worsening.

Said Zach: “Her breathing was bad, she couldn’t breathe properly. She was on oxygen for quite some time. They tried weaning her off it to get her strength up.

“Her bowel wasn’t getting any better but she couldn’t start chemotherapy until after she got rid of covid. She did get rid of covid, but she had pneumonia in her lung which was too much to overcome.”

Jane passed away on  January 14 from pneumonia but Zach believes complications from covid and cancer contributed to her untimely death.

“It was a shock,” he said. “It was a horrible thing to happen, but she is out of pain, she’s not fighting anymore. She fought for too long. She fought for months. Me, my dad and my two brothers were there in the hospital. I truly believe she waited.”

Zach talks openly about his mum’s battle against coronavirus and cancer>>>

Zach is the middle child of his two brothers, Alex and Dan, and says they are all trying to move forward: “I am 28 and I have lost my mum. She was only 60, that’s no age to pass away. She wants us to move on, she wants us to be okay and we will be. It’s going to take time.

“I’m not afraid to admit I’m struggling, but with support from my fiancée, who is amazing, her family, my family, my mates, my colleagues, they’re all supporting and helping and it’s great to see how much love and support there is for my mum and how much money has been raised.”

Zach has followed in his mum’s footsteps into teaching. He teaches at a special educational needs school that caters for children aged 11-19.

“My mum was a teacher,” he said. “She always said she could see me as a sixth form teacher, and I am now so she was right.”


About Ben Roberts-Haslam, JMU Journalism