A Richmond man is running the London Marathon in memory of his sister who lost her battle with cancer two years ago.

Rob Edwards, 32, who is raising money for Cancer Research UK, and his younger sister Sophie were very close growing up together in Richmond.

He said: “Sophie graduated from Manchester University, then moved to Canada to pursue her passion for snowboarding and the great outdoors.

“She had an active, challenging lifestyle with her partner Mike and their two dogs.

“But in 2013 she found a dodgy-looking mole on her stomach, which was changing colour, so she went to the doctor.

“The mole was removed and was diagnosed as malignant melanoma.

“She was then constantly monitored for any spread of the disease.

“In July 2015 doctors discovered a malignant lump in her upper arm which was removed.

“They also tested her lymph nodes and found the cancer had spread there.”

By September the cancer had spread around Sophie’s body and tumours had developed in her brain, liver, and kidneys.

Rob said: “At first Sophie remained very well, going to work and getting out into the mountains snowboarding, hiking and cycling.

“She refused to let cancer get in the way of doing the things she loved, and insisted on living her life to the full.”

Sadly in July 2016, Sophie had a new growth in her brain which required surgery after it haemorrhaged.

Rob said: “She was admitted to hospital in August with considerable pain in her back and a partial paralysis to her face.

“She was confined to a wheelchair, had only partial vision and was in constant pain.

“However, she never complained.

“She stayed composed, level-headed and maintained her great sense of humour.”

The cancer spread around the lining of Sophie’s brain and into the top of her spine.

She had radiotherapy, from which she recovered quite well, but in November 2016, she lost her battle with the disease. She was 27.

Rob said: “I never imagined cancer could target someone so healthy and confine them to a bed within 12 months.

“Yet throughout her illness, Sophie remained resolutely strong, determined to make the most of every day and greeted every visit from friends and family with love, warmth and friendship.”

Rob is determined to raise his target of £4,000 for the charity.

He said: “Training in winter has been a bit miserable but I’m fairly fit. I hear the London marathon is a great day out, but the main aim will be to raise enough money to help fund breakthroughs, perhaps the kind which might have helped Sophie.”

The London Marathon will be held on April 22.

To sponsor Rob go here