Angels on earth.
That is how Andrew Beadnall, the Founder of Beadnall Copley Estate Agents, the sponsor, since 2007 of the annual Bramham Park Fun Run, describes the nurses, surgeons and staff at St James’s Institute of Oncology in Leeds.
The state-of-the-art centre is the destination for every penny of the money raised at the fun run event, which this year takes place on Sunday, October 5.
St James’s is the replacement centre for Cookridge Hospital, where Mr Beadnall’s parents were both treated when affected by cancer.
During the time his mother was being treated, Mr Beadnall began his fundraising efforts for Cancer Research UK.
Mr Beadnall wished to explain in the Wetherby News the personal reasons behind his full backing of the fun run.
He said: “In 1997, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and she sadly died.
“She was treated at Cookridge, which is no longer there. When my mother died I was so impressed by the wonderful care that she received, even though hers was inoperable.
“At Cookridge I started to become involved in fundraising and then, in 2002, my father died of cancer very quickly.
“At that point, because of the fundraising I had been involved in, they asked if I would become an official fundraiser, rasiing money for the September Ball which is still held in Harrogate.”
He continued: “We managed to get tickets to a Versaci show in Milan and even got David Beckham’s first Real Madrid shirt donated for the Ball.
“I was then asked by Ann Newton if I would sponsor the Bramham Park Fun Run.”
Beadnall Copley pay all the costs involved with hosting the event, and, since 2007, £62,000 has been raised.
And now, because of Mr Beadnall’s involvement, every penny rasied at the fun run is donated to Cancer Research UK, and the work done at St James’s.
He said: “I have met Professor Alan Melcher, who is in charge of research at St James’s.
“For me , one of the most humbling things I ever dis is was to go down there to see these angels on earth at work.
“What they are doing is phenomenal.
“Now I am getting older, I see friends succumb to cancer, and I had a scare myself last year.
“I was having my annual check-up, and they thought they had detected prostate cancer - I heard those words you think you will never hear - ‘you might have cancer’.
“Thank Goodness I did not, but for those two weeks when you are waiting for results, it really puts life into perspective. It doesn’t matter how well you have done in life, cancer brings us all to the same level.”
Mr Beadnall’s fundraising is endless, and for good reason.
He has seen first-hand how people can survive, and he is upbeat about the possibility of survival rates rising in future.
He said: “One of my greatest friends got breast cancer 12 years ago. She had to retire from work, and I can still remember the call as if it were yesterday morning.
“She had to retire from work but she survived.
“The chances are cancer will affect more and more people. I have sen the horrors of cancer, but the survival rate is incredible.
“All the time they are finding new cures so the treatment is not as harsh as it used to be.”
At the 2013 Fun Run, Mr beadnall spoke to a group from Ledsham Cricket Club, to ask who they were running for,
The answer - Johnny Aston , who died after a short illness,aged 38, in early 2013.
In the words of Paul Dewhirst, from the club: “Johnny had played cricket for Ledsham for over 20 years.
“He was a wonderful cricketer and one of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet.”
Mr Beadnall recalls being moved by the gesture.
He said: “People run in memory. On the front will be a competitor number, and on the back - ‘Grandma’ or ‘Dad’.
“Ledsham Cricket Club are coming back again this year, and it will be amazing to see.
“The 2013 event was our biggest ever.
“Imagine if everyone who took part came again, but brought along three friends of relatives.
“Then we have got over 2,000 people taking part.
“We have an amazing warm-up person in Martin Shaw, and - whisper it - the weather has been beautiful every year!
“It is a fantastic setting in October, and I hope everyone can join us to make this the biggest Bramham Park Fun Run yet.”