A TEENAGE student from Bude will be among thousands of runners who will be taking to the streets of London for the 2014 London Marathon in April.
Sam Fanson, a final-year student at Budehaven School, will be one of them, running on Sunday, April 13, to raise money for Bliss, a special care baby charity, to help babies born premature and sick.
Sam chose to run for Bliss because he's seen first-hand how premature birth has affected people in his life.
In September 2006 Sam's friend's brother Joe was born 11 weeks premature.
Joe was very ill, and had meningitis, E. coli, septicaemia and chronic lung disease, among other things.
Happily Joe recovered, and is now a healthy seven-year-old boy. Bliss also helped one of Sam's schoolteachers when he and his partner had their son Brody in September 2011, 12 weeks premature.
A keen fundraiser, Sam has previously raised £2,650 for Cancer Research UK by cycling from John o' Groats to Land's End, raised more than £2,000 by cycling from Bude to Land's End with his school, and has done the Plymouth Half-Marathon.
Sam said: "Bliss is an amazing charity.
"When Joe was born, the help they gave his family was invaluable, and Joe's mum and dad were able to use Bliss leaflets and their website to understand what was happening with Joe's treatment.
"I love raising money, and love what Bliss does, so I can't think of a better charity I could run for."
Amy Rodwell, Bliss running events officer, said: "The London Marathon is always a special event, and we're delighted to have Sam taking part with us this year.
"We want to say a huge thank you to him; he will be helping us continue to support families who are going through what is one of the most difficult times imaginable, having a baby who is seriously ill."
For more information about Sam's story, or to donate to his fundraising efforts visit www.justgiving.co.uk/samsmarathonforbliss
For information about Bliss and the support the charity provides, visit the website www.bliss.org.uk