THE memory of a dear friend will be pushing a Tabley man over the finish line of the London Marathon on Sunday.
John Hassell, 26, has been chosen to run this year’s marathon by a charity close to his heart – Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
Raising money for the charity has become a priority of John’s since the sudden death of his close friend Aaron James Dixon in 2011.
Aaron, from Kingsmead, Northwich, was just 23 years old when he died of Sudden Death Syndrome (SADS) almost three years ago.
“When Aaron got taken away from us so suddenly, it changed all of our lives,” said John, a former Knutsford High School student.
“No parent should have to go through what his mum Debbie and dad Gary have been through and therefore it is vital that I keep fundraising in order to support CRY.”
Ever since his death, Aaron’s family and friends have been dedicated to raising awareness of SADS and raised a staggering £21, 475 for life-saving screenings through a group sky-dive last year.
“Aaron is irreplaceable but knowing that what we are doing saves other people’s lives definitely helps us,” added John, who also took part in the sky-dive.
For his upcoming marathon, John has been busy training in Dubai, where he lives with girlfriend Jamielee, and his and Aaron’s family have been helping with the fundraising back in England.
“Aaron’s family have been helping me get the money for the charity, as have my own family, so I just want to make everyone proud,” added the business co-ordinator.
“I know I’ll complete it, Aaron will push me over that line.”
John will be running alongside another of Aaron’s friends Ryan Moroney on Sunday. The pair have secured £6,700 in donations so far and hope to reach their £8,000 target by the time they cross the line.
John wanted to thank everyone who has supported him, and gave special thanks to his ‘star’ girlfriend Jamielee, his mum, dad and family, and also Aaron’s mum Debbie.
“Debbie has been superb getting money for me and I can’t wait to run for her amazing son,” he added.
Donations can still be made through John’s just giving page. Visit virginmoneygiving.com/aaronjamesdixon.