DETERMINED soldier Daniel Shipley is training for two marathons this summer in aid of his mum, who is battling cancer.
His mother Nicole Shipley will turn 49 tomorrow. But she won't be celebrating the day with her son at her home in Prestbury, Cheltenham.
Instead, she is aiming to power through her "blip year", as she calls it, and to have a bumper 50th when she overcomes breast cancer.
She was diagnosed with the disease in September and soon learnt that it had spread as far as her hip.
It hit Daniel hard but his mum has remained positive.
And she discovered yesterday that her chemotherapy had caused the cancer to recede, which she hopes is the beginning of a remarkable turn of health.
Daniel, 23, is in the 23 Engineer Regiment based in Rock Barracks at RAF Woodbridge, near Ipswich.
Since his mother's diagnosis, he decided he wanted raise money for Cancer Research UK to help find a cure.
When she lost her hair through chemotherapy, he also decided to shave his off in support to keep her spirits high.
Now, he is also putting in 13-mile runs to prepare himself for two marathons – the Cheltenham Circular Challenge next month and then the Malvern Hills – with the view of doing a 64-mile ultra marathon after.
Daniel said: "I wanted to run when she was diagnosed. It was a shock to us all – really out of the blue – so I wanted to raise as much money as I could. My mum is always a happy person and always looking out for other people first.
"I have never done a marathon before. I have run long distances before but nothing like this. I am really looking forward to it although running 26 miles is a bit daunting.
"It's for a good cause so hopefully that will get me through it."
If Daniel raises more than £500, he will step up his challenge and take on a ultra-marathon. He has raised £350 so far.
In the meantime he is coming home to visit his mum as much as possible.
"We make as much effort as we can to meet with my mum but the distance can be hard sometimes," he said.
"If we could spend her 50th together after a year of fundraising, I think that would really lift her spirits and make her proud. It's something for her to look forward to."
Nicole praised her son for his courage, saying: "It was a difficult time for us as a family when I was diagnosed and came as such a shock. I am a very positive person and have been through the chemotherapy. I feel humbled and very proud that Daniel wants to help."
Visit www.justgiving.com/daniel-shipley1 to donate.