A runner who was diagnosed with life-threatening cancer two-and-a-half years ago has completed the London marathon for a second time – raising more than £60,000 in the process.
Belfast man Ivan McMinn was running in the 50-to-54 category and, according to the marathon’s online log, he finished the race in three hours, 50 minutes yesterday – making him 9,145 out of an estimated 36,000 taking part.
It is the latest remarkable twist in Mr McMinn’s post-diagnosis journey.
In November 2011, when he was training for the 2012 marathon, doctors told him he had pancreatic cancer – a particularly deadly variety.
According to Cancer Focus NI this type of the disease is a virtual death sentence, and only three per cent of those who are diagnosed are still alive after three years.
After his diagnosis, he had even planned his own funeral.
However, five months after being diagnosed,Mr McMinn was back at work, and was promoted to Head of Corporate Banking at Danske Bank.
He also ran last year’s London marathon too.
In the run-up to yesterday’s race, he had said his aim was to garner £100,000 for the charity.
Yesterday his fundraising website put the amount raised at £61,894.45.
Ahead of yesterday’s achievement, he said in a statement: “I believe cancer is as much a mental journey as a physical one so I always stay positive. I’ve also been incredibly humbled by the support from family and friends and that really helped me.
“I’ve yet to get emotional about the fact that I had cancer,” he said.
“But I found it incredibly moving that people had taken the time to think about me – one day alone I got 100 texts and I still have boxes of cards and well wishes – I can recall how reading those moved me to tears! In a strange kind of way having cancer has been a privilege – it’s helped me to connect with people and get into their lives in a way that I didn’t think possible.”
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/IvanMcMinn