A student will be taking on the Great North Run to raise funds for cancer research in memory of his grandmother.

Ashok Choundhary, a student at the University of East London will be running the half marathon and raising funds for The Institute of Cancer Research, London.

Ashok, who is studying media communications in global development, has wanted to contribute to improve the lives of cancer patients since his grandmother died from the disease.

Previously Ashok has only run shorter distances, but he has been upping the ante in preparation for the Great North Run.

Before signing up to the challenge he had only gone up to 12k runs, and is now training hard to complete the half marathon.

Ashok’s effort in running the Great North Run will directly support the ICR’s scientists and clinicians, who are working every day to make the discoveries that will defeat cancer.

The ICR has been carrying out world-leading research into the causes of cancer, and how it might be treated or prevented, for more than 100 years.

Today, it is a world leader at identifying cancer-related genes and discovering new targeted drugs for personalised cancer treatment.

Ashok said, “When visiting my cousin at work, who is a radio-oncologist in India, I saw the pain that cancer causes. We have felt it in our family too, with my grandmother.

"I wanted to do a challenge and raise money for cancer research as my contribution to the effort of improving lives for cancer patients.

“It is hard for anyone to see their loved ones suffering.

"I wanted to help, and the money I raise will help the ICR to do more research for a cure and find better treatments for patients.”

Lannah Carbonilla, Head of Supporter Engagement of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: “We’re enormously grateful for the support of Ashok and all of our other #teamICR runners. It is amazing to see the journeys that led them to take part in the Great North Run, and we wish them the very best of luck for the big day.”

Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:“The support from our fundraisers is vital for our work to identify cancer genes, discover cancer drugs and develop new high-tech treatments.

“It is really motivating for me and all of our researchers to see the hard work and dedication of supporters like Ashok. With their support, we can continue to make a real impact on cancer patients' lives.

“As a research institute and a charity, the ICR relies on the generosity of people like Ashok and the other runners in #teamICR to raise the funds needed to make the discoveries that defeat cancer.”

It has charitable status and relies on support from partner organisations, charities and the general public.

To support Ashok and donate to the ICR, please click here