My London Marathon: Lewis’ Story
The London Marathon has always been on Lewis Baxters' bucket list. So when he got the chance to run for team Worldwide Cancer Research, he immediately sprung into action: training, fundraising and even tweeting about it. As a Chartered Financial Planner at his family company Unividual, he spends time helping his clients achieve their long-term goals. So how is he getting on with his own?
Following Andrew’s London Marathon story, we spoke to Lewis about how he's gearing up to take his place on the Worldwide Cancer Research team in April.
How did you feel when you found out you’d got that precious London Marathon place?
Last year I trained to do the Bath Half Marathon and managed to raise over £5,000 with 3 other members of staff from our financial planning business, Unividual. Our clients, friends and family were so generous and as soon as I finished I immediately felt that I wanted to do more, to have another challenge that could help to raise more money. The London Marathon is world-renowned and, it's something that has always been on that bucket list of things I wanted to do.
What made you choose Worldwide Cancer Research as the charity to run for?
I work as a Chartered Financial Planner and spend a lot of time helping my clients achieve their lifetime goals and objectives. The sad part of life is that events like getting a long-term sickness affect when and how you reach those goals. I have seen the impact that cancer has on families, both my own and others. “Whatever it takes, wherever it takes us” (Worldwide Cancer Research's philosophy) is something that rung true with what I wanted to achieve and the attitude I have for this experience.
I have worked with several families who have had to deal with cancer and have witnessed the financial and emotional strife this has caused. My own Nanny Fenn has battled breast cancer twice - the effects that cancer has on people’s lives hit home then particularly. These experiences motivated me to look at fundraising for several cancer charities.
I particularly wanted to pick a charity which helped to deal with the problem at source, by aiming to remove cancer as a risk to us all. I wanted to be able to help, in whatever small way I could, reach a position in the future where people do not have to go through the devastating experiences that my family and others have.
When fundraising I think it is important that not only is the cause worthwhile, but that it will be for a charity that you can really make a difference for. That was the immediate sense that I got with Worldwide Cancer Research. I will never forget how quickly Worldwide Cancer Research got back to me. They were extremely keen for me to run for them, the contact from Rebecca at the charity was excellent and I instantly got a feeling that this charity felt I could make a difference to them. I also admire the approach Worldwide Cancer Research has and their aims matched mine in working to remove cancer as a threat.
How do you feel about fundraising? Is it daunting, or exciting for you? What are your plans to help you reach your target?
I love challenging myself and pushing myself to do things I wouldn’t necessarily deem possible, and running the London Marathon is such a challenge. There is also the added motivation that I am doing this for the benefit of others. Once you have made a pledge to a charity there is a personal obligation to fulfil that promise well.
I am lucky to have a big support network around me to help me out. Our family-run business sees this as a team effort. My sister and fellow director Cherie-Anne are on a mission - as a Chartered Marketer, she has already implemented a plan of how to promote the charity and drum up donations. My Dad, who is also the managing director, will draw donations from all corners and our business will also donate generously as well as coming up with some of their own fundraising ideas.
I spend a lot of time planning people’s finances and helping them with their life goals whether that be in easy or difficult circumstances. Because of this, I have a strong relationship with my clients and I know, as they did for me in the Bath Half Marathon last year, that they will provide me and Worldwide Cancer Research with massive support as well. So, whilst there is pressure to make the promise I have given to Worldwide Cancer Research a reality, it’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to.
Feeling inspired? You can set yourself a challenge just like Lewis. Sign up for one of our many other running events by clicking here.