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Brave Tara gets ready to run London Marathon after dad's cancer battle

PUBLISHED: 14:34 31 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:59 01 April 2016

Tara Dowler, from Welling, is getting ready to run the London Marathon

Tara Dowler, from Welling, is getting ready to run the London Marathon

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Tara Dower is raising money for Bexley Community Hospice and Bowel & Cancer Research

A brave 24-year-old from Welling is preparing to run the London Marathon for charity after her father died of bowel cancer.

Tara Dower, who lives on Westwood Lane, is raising money for Bowel & Cancer Research and the Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice, which helped her dad through his final days.

Garry Dower passed away 18 months ago at the age of just 53, and Tara hopes memories of her dad will spur her on to success.

She said: “His diagnosis was a massive shock – he died just a month later, He was a really kind and loving man – totally selfless. I don’t know anyone who didn’t like him. He put everyone before himself.”

“I feel very strongly about raising awareness of bowel cancer and want to thank the hospice for all their help last year. Raising money seems to be the best way to do so and the biggest gesture right now.”

Ms Dower has planned to run the marathon for a long time. “I used to do a lot of dance – my dad would take me to lessons four times a week,” she said. “But I gave up because I didn’t want to dance as a career.

“I decided I wanted to achieve something and the marathon seemed like a good goal. It’s extremely hard and it’s pushing me out of my comfort zone.

“I kept trying for a ballot place and it was third time lucky this year. Dad knew I wanted to do it and was right behind me.”

Chief executive of Bowel & Cancer Research Deborah Gilbert thanked Tara for her support. “We are very sorry that Garry Dower lost his fight against bowel cancer. Our aim is to make sure that no one should die of this dreadful disease in future and we are therefore hugely grateful to fundraisers like Tara who are helping make that happen.”

Mum Karen, sister Ellie and brother Ryan will be there to support Ms Dowler on April 24, along with other relatives, friends and colleagues at her workplace in Covent Garden, London.

Anyone who wants to support Ms Dower can do so at http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/TaraDower

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