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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Marathon tribute to Barrow cancer tot

BARROW boy Jake Ellis was just five when he lost his battle with cancer in 2008.

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london calling Jake’s mother Jo-Ann Ellis, left, who will be running the London Marathon. She’ll be supported by her children Poppy, two, and Luke, eight, and sister Nicola Morrow. Below, Jo-Ann and Nicola LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50060444B001

His legacy is Jake’s Fund which has raised a staggering £75,000 to combat childhood cancer.

His supporters wear their hearts on their sleeves, with T-shirts bearing Jake’s smiling face a staple at many charity events.

This year Jake’s mum, Jo-ann Ellis has stepped up her commitment to the cause by taking part in the London Marathon on April 13.

Nearly 4,000 miles across the Atlantic her sister, Samantha Morrow-Rutty, will also be running a marathon in North Carolina.

“She starts at 5am because of the heat, so with the time difference, hopefully we’ll be running at exactly the same time,” said the 36-year-old, of Barrow.

A month later Mrs Ellis will strap on her trainers again to complete the Keswick to Barrow walk for the sixth time as part of Team Jake.

Her motivation is simple.

“Our money goes towards research and hopefully we can cancel cancer out forever, especially in children. It shouldn’t happen to children but it does.”

Mrs Ellis admits she couldn’t run to the end of the street when she started training but she’s averaging more than 20 miles a week now and is determined she’s going to do it. She has her team of loyal supporters and fundraisers relying on her.

Along the route she will be looking out for her husband Nick, her other children Luke and Poppy, her sister Nicola, her parents June and Barry Morrow, and her mother and father-in-law.

“The company which has printed all my things are making a flag for us to take down,” she added.

If the camera crews miss her supporters, there’s a chance viewers will spot Jake’s picture on the back of Mrs Ellis’s running kit.

Her green and white CCLG (Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group) running vest, her jumper and tracksuit, and jumpers for all her supporters have been personalised by StrainStall, a subsidiary of James Fisher and Sons.

Paul and Linzi Stanway are running the Manchester Marathon on April 6 and together all four marathon runners are hoping to raise £3,000 for Jake’s Fund.

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