Lee on the run for RAF charity

DOUBLE MARATHON: Former RAF Dog handler Lee Cunliffe is set to don his running shoes to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund. (s)
DOUBLE MARATHON: Former RAF Dog handler Lee Cunliffe is set to don his running shoes to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund. (s)

A BURNLEY man is set to run two marathons to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund, which supported him after the death of his wife.

Lee Cunliffe’s life was shattered in 2006 when his wife, Tracey, died of cancer.

He was left to care for their three children – but the RAF stepped in and gave his family a home.

Now, the former RAF dog handler hopes to give something back by running both the Edinburgh Marathon in May and the Great North Run in September.

On his JustGiving page, Lee says: “I wish to convey my heartfelt thanks to those that work on behalf of the charity.

“So that I can try and give something back to them, no matter how much, I have decided to punish my body in this event.

“If I had never been in the forces, and had not received the help of this charity, I dread to think how my life would have turned out or where I would have ended up.

“I would be very much appreciated if you could donate something to this charity.”

Tracey was diagnosed with cancer in 2003. So her surgery and treatment could begin, their third child had to be delivered six weeks’ premature.

However, after a three-year battle with the disease, she died.

Lee was left to bring up three children while still serving in the RAF.

After his discharge, the RAF Benevolent Fund stepped in and provided a house for Lee and his children through its Housing Trust, which they still live in today.

Lee said: “Since then I’ve got back on my own two feet and I’m proud of my three children.

“I’ve now got a job at the Ministry of Justice and am moving on and building a normal life for myself.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible support I received from the RAF Benevolent Fund.”

To support Lee’s fund-raising, visit www.justgiving.com/RAFbenfund.

The RAF Benevolent Fund is there to support serving and former RAF personnel, their partners and dependants, regardless of rank.

To learn more visit www.rafbf.org.