LINZI Prescott will make an emotional return to the place where she and husband Steve spent the final few months of his life to run in a half marathon in his memory.
Steve’s courage and determination in his battle against a rare form of abdominal cancer, Pseudomyxoma Peritonewas, predominantly set in St Helens, but it was in Oxford where he underwent pioneering surgery in one last attempt to prolong his life.
Last October surgeons at The Churchill Hospital carried out a 'first in the world' multi-visceral transplant which involved removing the tumour and the transplant of his stomach, pancreas, small intestines and abdominal wall.
However, ex-rugby league player Steve died three weeks later following complications from the surgery.
Linzi, 39, will go back to Oxford in October - days before the first anniversary of the transplant - to take part in the Vitality OXFORDHALF. Inspired by the incredible feats of endurance Steve conquered throughout his illness, Linzi will line up alongside eight friends for the race on Sunday, October 12.
The mother-of-two from Eccleston said: “My husband has inspired me, a non runner, to put my running shoes on after watching how he pushed his body to the limits. Stephen competed in multiple endurance challenges despite suffering with terminal cancer and raised over half a million pounds for the charity that he set up called The Steve Prescott Foundation.”
“The anniversary of Stephen’s surgery is October 15 to 17, just days after the event. I couldn’t think of a more fitting place to motivate me to complete the biggest race of my life. We will be taking part as TeamPrecky to raise funds and awareness for The Steve Prescott Foundation.
“Oxford will always have a very special place in my heart as this is where we shared the last four months of his life together. It was also the place which gave us hope and a lifeline when every other option was closed.”
The foundation supports three charities which were close to his heart. The Christie, a cancer support centre in Manchester, The Oxford Transplant Foundation Foundation at Churchill Hospital and The Rugby League Benevolent Fund, now known as Try Assist, which helps sick and injured rugby players.
Meanwhile, Linzi and the foundation are preparing for the release of One in a Million - the autobiography of Steve - which will be officially launched at next week'sTetley’s Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium.
Linzi has written the final two heart-rending chapters of a book which will tell the whole story of Steve’s battle with cancer.
She said: “At first Stephen just wanted to tell his story after being diagnosed with cancer, but in the end it became so personal to him that he decided to tell the people what he was really going through behind closed doors, and that it wasn't all about endurance challenges and smiling."