Hornchurch firefighter to run London Marathon in support of cousin praises ‘amazing’ generosity of the community

Tony is running the London Marathon in support of his cousin, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour

Tony is running the London Marathon in support of his cousin, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour - Credit: Tony Gladman

A 31-year-old firefighter running the London Marathon in support of his cousin has spoken of the “amazing” generosity shown by the community so far. 

Tony Gladman, who is based in Hornchurch and works for the London Fire Brigade, said he does the marathon every year, each time raising money for a different cause. 

He has previously run it in support of his friend’s son who suffers from brittle bones, with the money going towards buying him a wheelchair. 

After having to pull out in 2021 because his arm was in a cast, he will be back at it this year, when he will be running for his 15-year-old cousin Bethany, who has been undergoing treatment for a brain tumour. 

Tony said her diagnosis was a shock because of her age, and awareness around the issue is one of the reasons he is doing the run. 

“The family want the word to get out because it’s almost unheard of for kids like her to get it,” he told the Recorder

“They said if they can help one person, they have done their bit.” 

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Some of the money raised will go to the Fire Brigade’s charity, Tony said, as he is being entered on its behalf.  

However, the majority will be split between the family and First Step, a Hornchurch-based charity supporting children with special needs. 

With a set target of £2,000 for his online GoFundMe page, Tony had already secured more than £1,000 by July 29, just two weeks since it was set up, in addition to cash donations and a sum to be gifted by his work. 

Tony described the input from the community so far as "absolutely amazing". 

“I think people are happy to give to things when it’s a personal issue,” he added. 

On how he would feel if he were to achieve his fundraising target, Tony said: “It would just be amazing. I would be bursting with pride. It’s about community.” 

The TCS London Marathon 2022 is taking place on October 2 this year, the third time in a row that the event will be held in October rather than its traditional April date.

To donate to Tony’s fundraiser, visit his GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/f/forbethany2022