A Catholic multi-marathon runner, who has raised thousands of pounds for charity, will carry the Olympic torch on one of its final legs through London the day before the opening ceremony.
Dom Goggins, who works for Catholic aid agency CAFOD, will carry the flame through Southwark on 26 July.
The 27-year-old was nominated to carry the torch after completing a gruelling 15 marathons, including one in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and numerous triathlons to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
Dom was inspired to fundraise for the charity after losing his friend Steven Blears to leukaemia at the age of 19.
He said: “I’ve got mixed emotions about carrying the torch; obviously it is an incredible privilege and the most exciting thing to have ever happened to me, but it has only happened because of the saddest thing. When I was waiting at the starting line of my first marathon I didn’t even know if I would finish so I could never have predicted that just a few years later I would be carrying the Olympic torch.
“It will be a privilege to raise the profile of not only Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research but also to represent CAFOD. I will keep in mind the people both charities are working to support as I run.”
Dom began fundraising for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research in 2010 when he set himself the challenge of running a marathon a month to boost funds. Keen to get others involved in fundraising, he set up the Mad Hatters Challenge and together with 30 other supporters raised more than £15,000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
Dom said: “We are now so close to curing blood cancer so I still feel there is more I could do. That’s why as a springboard from carrying the torch I’ve set up the Leading Light Campaign”.
The campaign is a collective effort which aims to raise £1million to invest in new research by the Olympic Games in Rio.
Dom said: “It’s a lot of money, but if enough people with the right will and energy make a contribution, the total of all these acts will deliver something extraordinary.”
Dom is CAFOD’s second representative in the torch relay. He is following in the footsteps of famed ‘barefoot runner’ John McBride, who carried the torch through Barnard Castle in County Durham last month, and then took the torch to stand in the St John’s Sports Society in the Korogocho slum in Kenya.
Dom hailed John’s achievement, saying: “For me, the Torch is all about hope and dreams. Even in all that terrible grinding poverty in Korogocho, every single kid in the slum wanted to hold John’s Torch. They all knew what it was and what it meant. And every one of them said their dream was to represent Kenya in The Olympics. That was the hope it inspired.
“And in our country, the kids who need to try and hold onto their hope and hold onto their dreams more than any others are those kids battling leukaemia, and that’s why I’ll be carrying the Torch for them. And the pride I’ll feel representing their hopes and dreams – you can’t put a price on that.”
CAFOD’s director Chris Bain said: “It’s supporters and staff like Dom and John that make CAFOD what it is. We are extremely grateful for all the support we get to ensure that CAFOD and its partners can continue to make a difference to some of the most vulnerable people in the world. We’re so proud of Dom and John and will be cheering them on as they take part in this momentous occasion.”
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