A FIREFIGHTER from Pontypool will be running the Newport half marathon in full kit to support the charity and hospice who helped his cousin, who died from cervical cancer.

Gareth White, along with his uncle David Walters, will be taking to the streets of Newport next month in memory of Louise Thomas, a mother-of-five from Trevethin.

While the retained firefighter’s uncle will be wearing normal running gear, Mr White will be wearing the tunic, helmet, gloves – or an extra 10kg.

“My uncle put the idea in my head as a joke at first,” said Mr White, 37, of Pontnewynydd.

“I was on a run, and I went past the cemetery where my cousin is buried, and I thought that I should do it.

"This will be my sixth half marathon and I thought that I should do something a bit more challenging.

“I will be wearing the tunic, helmet, gloves and boots – I won’t be running with the breathing apparatus so it’s just the kit rather the set.”

Mr White added that he and his uncle are in the process of applying to permission to carry buckets with them so they can collect at the roadside.

“We are in the process of applying for a licence to be able to carry a bucket on the day. My uncle will be running with me and hopefully he’ll have a bucket too,” said Mr White.

“The aim is to keep at a steady jogging pace for the whole route. But the plan is to go fairly slow so that we can collect money along the way.

“At this stage, I don’t know how much long it will take. I have an idea my head of around four hours but it’s not about the time.

“To prepare for the additional weight, I will be starting to train with a weighted vest just to compensate for the fire kit.”

“It has been really hard for the family – really hard,” said Mr White.

“We thought that she was going to fight it and it was looking more positive for a time. She was only 46.

“We will be raising money for St David’s Hospice Care – they were fantastic during my cousin’s treatment and supporting the family afterwards. We just want to raise as much money for them as possible.”

Mr Walters, 62, originally from Blaenavon but now living in Yorkshire, said: “Louise spoke so fondly of while they cared for her during her battle against her cancer.

“I always regarded her as a giver and not a taker and she would have been over the moon that we are raising money for all at the hospice and in particular the nurses who nursed her at her mother’s home.

“She referred them to angels because of their gentle nature and their outstanding caring.

“She always wanted to pass away at home and the nurses ensured this happened – it was a great comfort to all the family.”

A former rugby player with Blaenavon Blues between 1971 and 1976, Mr Walters has completed the London marathon and two half marathons in Leeds.

“The more money we can raise will enable me to make an application to a trust fund I can approach who in the past have been very generous in adding additional amounts of money to the above charities,” said Mr Walters.

“The name of the trust fund is the Tony Rampton trust fund who is associated with my former employer Grattan catalogue now known as FGH -Freeman / Grattan Holdings.”

The pair have set up a team page – justgiving.com/teams/Louise18 – or alternative, money can be donated to justgiving.com/fundraising/gareth-white9 or justgiving.com/fundraising/david-walters10.