First it was eight months of intense chemotherapy to treat his lung cancer. Then it was major surgery to remove the tumours. Then it was a left hip replacement.

Compared to what Wandsworth man Charlie Degale has been through in the past two years, the London Marathon was a walk in the park.

"I needed a challenge to help get my fitness back so decided to enter the London Marathon and at the same time raise £2000 for the charity Children with Cancer UK," the physical trainer with the Met Police said.

"This charity is amazing and very supportive.

"It was while I was going through the chemotherapy treatment that I would ask myself how children going through the same treatment managed to cope?

"The treatment drains the life out of you.

"I just wanted to give something back to all the doctors, nurses, surgeons and specialists who gave me a second chance of life."

But training was difficult for Charlie, who is also a football coach with Carshalton Athletic.

He said there were times when the pain was so unbearable that he considered pulling out.

But there was something that kept pushing him forward.

"With the passing of a close cousin to cancer, and a local boy Thomas who is suffering with a rare blood condition. their bravery and inspiration motivated me to keep going," Charlie added.

"It was the most amazing event to be part of, showing that with all the sadness in the country and around the world, that for one day the people of London can come together in peace, joy, love and harmony."

He was happy to say that he finished the race in 5 hours and 21 minutes.

He hopes that his story can inspire others to tackle life's obstacles head on.

"I am proud to say as a local black man that I have shown that no matter what hardships life throws at you, that with the right mindset you can bounce back and achieve anything," he said.

"I took part in a most wonderful event and it is a day that I will never forget."