‘It gave him the confidence to believe’ - park runners to unite in memory of teenager

Janet Acott.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Janet Acott.Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Football shirts will be donned for a weekend run dedicated to a 17-year-old who died from a rare cancer after having a liver transplant.

Scores of runners took part in the second annual David's Run at Sheringham Park last year. Picture:

Scores of runners took part in the second annual David's Run at Sheringham Park last year. Picture: Ally McGilvray - Credit: Archant

Sheringham Parkrun will on Saturday, March 10 be called David's Run, in memory of David Acott, who died on March 11, 2015.

Janet Acott, David's mum, said she and David, from Bodham, started taking part in the Sheringham Parkrun in December 2012, just four months after he had a lifesaving liver transplant after suffering from Wilson's Disease.

Mrs Acott said the first run was a challenge, but one that changed their lives.

She said: 'We pottered around, but did it.

Janet and David Acott. Picture: Courtesy of Janet Acott

Janet and David Acott. Picture: Courtesy of Janet Acott

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'We returned over the next few weeks and David began to realise that the transplant was not the end. He could still take part in sport and get back to normality. He started running, cycling, swimming, and he took part in a triathlon the British Transplant Games, and most importantly, playing football again - his big love.'

Tragedy struck when David was diagnosed with the rate post-transplant cancer in February, 2015, and he died just five weeks later.

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Mrs Acott said: 'My friends at Parkrun dedicated that week's run to David and the idea for David's Run was born.

'This year is our third one. We try to raise some funds for charities close to our heart.'

This year's run will be in support of the King's Children's Transplant Team, which David represented in runs during 2014, winning three medals.

David's Run starts at the visitors' centre at Sheringham Park, Upper Sheringham, at 9am, and everyone is welcome to take part. Mrs Acott said runners were encouraged to wear football shirts, in honour of David's passion for the game.

She said: 'Without Sheringham Parkrun, David would not have gone on to achieve what he did. It gave him the confidence to believe that he could do whatever he set his mind to, that having had a liver transplant was not a disability.

'Sheringham Parkrun has helped me so much over the years and I am forever grateful for the support and love they have shown me. Everyone who runs or walks there has a story.'

Donations can be made online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/davidsrunsheringham

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