A STUDENT is running the Colchester Half Marathon to raise money for the hospice which cared for his mum in her final days of her life.

Alex Atkinson, 20, is taking on the challenge next month in a bid to help other users of St Helena Hospice.

His mum, Wendy, was a patient at the hospice over Christmas up until her death in January at the age of 55.

Alex, whose father, Michael, also died last year, has so far raised more than £5,000 for the charity.

The education studies student at the University Centre Colchester said: “We saw the amazing work the hospice does.

“Before you visit you expect it to be a negative place because of the reason you’re going there but it is a nice positive place with such a calm atmosphere.

“There is no monetary value on the support they gave us but hopefully this will help others in the same situation.”

Wendy was first diagnosed with bowel cancer two years ago whilst Alex was studying for his A-levels and his sister Megan, 18, was taking her GCSEs.

She underwent both chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment at Colchester Hospital but the cancer had begun to progress over the last year.

Alex, who lives in Prettygate, said: “She went to the hospital for a check-up and told them for a few weeks her legs did not feel like they were holding her up properly.

“I remember going to the hospital with her and they said it was probably fatigue but they took it seriously as she was so ill.

“The cancer had spread to her brain and the tumour on the brain led to the seizure. They said her time was now precious. The hospice was there to make her as comfortable as possible.”

He hopes to be able to run the half marathon in under two hours, as he has done in his one previous attempt.

He said: “We have raised £4,500 on the fundraising page and there were donations at mum’s funeral too so we’ve got more than £5,000. We are over the moon with that.”

Alex, who volunteers at Prettygate School, added: “Mum was extremely loving, caring and had such a warm aura.

“She would try and help anyone - strangers or close family. She was a very positive person, even throughout her illness.”

To donate go to bit.ly/394K8V0.