Marathon effort in honour of Registrar’s cancer battle
Press release issued: 2 February 2012
The London Marathon will take on an extra-special meaning for one Bristol alumnus as he aims to complete the gruelling 26 mile course in honour of the University of Bristol’s recently retired Registrar Dr Tony Rich, who is battling the disease.
Dr Jonathan Nicholls (BA 1978) has already raised nearly £10,000 in sponsorship for his efforts, which were prompted by the heartbreaking diagnosis that his close friend Dr Rich has incurable cancer.
Dr Nicholls, who works as Cambridge University’s Registrary, will be joining seven other Bristol alumni runners who are raising money for Bristol University’s Cancer Research Fund, which supports vital research into cancer prevention and treatment.
He and Dr Rich first met as administrators at the University of Warwick in the 1980s and have been close friends ever since.
Dr Rich started work as Registrar and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Bristol at the end of the 2010/11 academic year, having previously worked as the Registrar and Secretary of the University of Essex since 1999, but retired recently due to ill health.
He is now asking friends and colleagues to support Dr Nicholls as he prepares to conquer the world-famous marathon on 22 April.
Dr Rich said: “I’m delighted Jonathan has asked me to front his fundraising campaign in support of such a good cause as cancer research. Ironically, I was always the sporty one, but today the boot is very much on the other foot."
Dr Nicholls, who studied English at the University of Bristol, said: “Tony is one of the most popular people in higher education and in every community he has lived in, worked for and played sport for.
“I have never run a marathon before and my training has now got going in earnest. My friendship with Tony will inspire me, as will my debt to the University of Bristol, where I was an undergraduate in the 1970s. This is a huge opportunity to raise significant sums to beat the cancer that is taking Tony's life.”
Bristol’s Cancer Research Fund supports research of international importance into cancer prevention and treatment. Research is undertaken into many aspects of the major cancers including breast, bowel, laryngeal, oral, prostate cancers and leukaemia.
Grants are awarded to cancer researchers to buy laboratory consumables or small pieces of equipment. These grants give young researchers the opportunity to work towards the crucial preliminary results that will enable them to gain larger project grants from major medical research funding bodies.
For further information on the eight Bristol alumni runners taking part in the London Marathon, or to support Bristol’s Cancer Research Fund, please visit the Campaign and Alumni Relations website.