A man who was dying went on a ‘stag do’ with his mates even though he wasn’t getting married.
Andy Godden, from Liverpool, passed away earlier this year aged 32 after suffering from bowel cancer for two years.
His friends are now running the Great North Run in his honour and told of how their pal was determined to live life to the full despite his illness.
His friend Tom Loughlin, 31, help to organise the stag and told the Liverpool Echo: "Andy and his partner Jess had spoken about getting married, but decided against it in the end – but he still wanted the experience of the stag.
"Over the past five years a lot of our group of friends have had weddings, with us all going on about seven stag dos as a group.
"Despite not getting married Andy decided he’d love to have a stag, so we planned a weekend in Manchester, with all his blokey mates.
"We stayed in a youth hostel and went to the football museum and a lot of bars.
"It was basically a celebration of Andy’s life while he was still with us and it was the most amazing time."
Tom, along with four of Andy’s close friends, are taking part in the Great North Run to raise money for Bowel & Cancer Research.
Their team name is ‘The Runs’ after one of the first signs of bowel cancer.
The members of the team are Tom, Andy’s partner of six years, Jess Lunt, 30, Elen Barfield, 30, Zoe Thirsk, 31, and Megan Key, 31.
Before Andy’s death, the group regularly completed challenges such as Tough Mudder, the three peaks and colour runs and thought the Great North Run would be a great next challenge.
Andy had actually hoped to be there to cheer his friends along on September 9, with a few tears expected among the group as a result.
Tom said: "By doing a half-marathon we want to raise as much money as possible to help people like Andy deal with the disease and prevent others having to deal with it at all.
"It’s so important to raise awareness, it was something Andy was really passionate about and we want to continue that on.
"We didn’t expect him to go so soon, I thought we had more time. It will probably be a bit of an emotional finish.”
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Chief Executive of Bowel & Cancer Research Deborah Gilbert said: “Andy Godden was truly inspirational and it’s tragic that this terrible disease should have claimed his life so soon.
"Our aim is to ensure that no one should die of bowel cancer in future and we can only do that with the support of our wonderful fundraisers.”
Anyone who wants to support The Runs can do so HERE.
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