Former Reepham High School pupil to run marathon in memory of best friend

Dean Johnson training for the London Marathon.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY Dean Johnson training for the London Marathon. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Friday, March 14, 2014
6:00 AM

A former Reepham High School pupil is set to run the London marathon in memory of his best friend, who died when they were just 13.

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Dean Johnson, from Cawston, lost his best friend Andrew Stringer to a rare brain tumour in 2006. Andrew had fallen ill in August 2005, and died just before his 14th birthday 15 months later, despite undergoing five major operations and chemotherapy.

Now aged 20, Mr Johnson is training for next month’s Virgin London Marathon. He is running the world famous 26.2-mile event on April 13 in aid of The Brain Tumour charity.

“I’ve always wanted to run the London Marathon and to run it in memory of Andrew was an extra incentive and gave me greater motivation to do it,” said Mr Johnson, who grew up in Reepham.

“We had been best friends all of our lives. He was an incredible boy with a great enthusiasm for life. He was an avid Nottingham Forest fan, talented at most sports, intelligent and musically gifted.

“There is still not a day that goes past when he’s not in my thoughts. It means an awful lot to be able to run the marathon in memory of him.”

Mr Johnson, who works as a quantity surveyor at Andrew Morton Associates in Oulton, near Reepham, hopes to raise £3,000 for The Brain Tumour charity, and so far has raised £2,675.

Andrew’s sister Laura Stringer said her brother would love that Dean is running the marathon for him and The Brain Tumour Charity.

She said: “Dean has done many fund-raising events in his memory but running the London marathon is really special; he has trained so hard and raised so much money and we are very proud of him and very grateful that he continues to remember Andrew in so many ways.”

Money raised by Mr Johnson for the Brain Tumour Charity will go towards vital research into brain tumours. To sponsor him, go to www.justgiving.com/Dean-Johnson12.

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