1977 was the year I drew breath, the middle of three children born in Sussex. We moved to Ireland in 1980 and this is where I grew up, where I was educated and where I established my life believes, character and sense of morals. A wonderful period of my life that set the foundations of who I am. In 1996 I came back to the UK and started University at Oxford Brooks. Here I met my wife (a nurse), the best thing that happened to me. We got married in 2001 and in 2002 I joined TVP to support the family and life we both yearned for. Since then we have had four children, 2 boys first then the girls. That has been my life for the past 18 years, supporting my wife, parenting the children as they arrived and continue to grow and working within TVP.
November 2002 was the fateful day I got given my uniform and sworn in to serve Oxford community; Police Constable 74. I spent four years as a response officer and during this time completed my public order training and specialised as a police Medic within this arena. I then ventured into the world of covert policing, between this surveillance world and public order events I worked all over TVP and the UK on mutual aid. Around about 2012 I returned to a uniform role in Oxford and was the first wave of non-firearms officers to carry Taser. In 2019 I passed the promotion exam and became a substantive Sergeant at the start of 2020. Throughout my career I have been fortunate to be awarded four commendations, an area commendation, a Chief Constable commendation, an Autism award and a commendation from the Royal Humane Society patroned by HRH. All was going well…
Life got turned upside down in September, no huge symptoms, tiredness, weight loss and some gastro problems. Following an acute episode and trip to A&E the CT scan revealed the lesions. Incurable and inoperable metastatic acinar cell carcinoma of the tail of the pancreas with liver and retroperitoneal nodal metastases , easy for me to say. Boom. 43 years old. In the consultants words, ’this will significantly shorten your life’. The only treatment option is chemotherapy, every two weeks for three months, a scan to assess and then repeat- a palliative measure.
Quite simple, run 24 miles, a mile a day. That seemed too easy so I thought it prudent to do it in full public order protective kit, an extra 17kg. I also didn’t factor in that I was undergoing chemotherapy and would continue to throughout the challenge. The good news was I roped my eldest son(16) in to run with me in the same kit for support. We started on the 1st November and did the last mile on the 10th December, we were joined by great friends and colleagues when lock down ended. Then on the last mile we went to the Public Order training centre where two full PSUs, the mounted section, volunteers and the ACC joined us, simply brilliant. This has raised a staggering amount of money and I am truly grateful to everyone that has donated, thank you.
So your turn, what I’d like to see is as many people as possible running their own shield runs, just a single mile. On your own, with your mates, with your children, as fun, competitively, however you see fit. Have fun with it, be imaginative, challenge your friends, family and colleagues. Post your pictures/ times on social media, copy in the charity link and #shieldrun74.
Also can any other police force beat our time, your full PSU with round shields, one mile, 13minutes 21 seconds, good luck. (if you tell me the date, and health allows, my son and I will run with you)
Lets continue to raise much needed funds that literally saves lives and more importantly lets raise awareness so the symptoms can be spotted early. Good luck and I look forward to seeing your efforts……