Jake Vivifica to wear bones for the London Marathon in memory of… – Shropshire Star

Jake Quickenden has revealed that he is dressing up for his first ever marathon as a “big dog” in memory of his younger brother Oliver.

Oliver was just 19 when he died of bone cancer in 2012, the same disease that killed his father four years earlier.

Vivifica said running the London Marathon on April 23 at TCS will be tough and emotional, but Oliver’s record will motivate him to complete the 26.2 miles (42km).

Timothy Vivenden with his younger brother Oliver
Jake Quickenden with his younger brother Oliver who died of cancer at the age of 19 (Family handout/PA)

“I like to prove myself and do these things that I can, I’m still on this Earth with air in my lungs, and my brother can’t,” said the PA news agency.

“I’ll remind myself that Oliver will be here doing this and he will do it for me.

“It’s a huge outfit. I don’t know how it’s going to run.

Jake Vivigenti’s bone design project at the TCS London Marathon on April 23 (Sarcoma UK/PA)

Just the face, arms, and legs will appear in a giant pattern, which will indicate that the sarcoma is bone and the cancer is soft tissue.

“I think with 20 miles in the middle and I can barely walk, I’ll be quite emotional,” said Vivenden, who hopes to raise £10,000 for Sarcoma UK.

“Why did I have him there in the dress with me, because he’ll give me an extra reason.

“He’s always with me anyway.”

Vivifica, second left, lost her father and younger brother Oliver to oral cancer (Family handout/PA)

The Dancing On Ice champion who rose to fame on The X Factor and played football has never run a marathon before.

“I did London Landmarks two and a half years ago and I’m quite excited, nervous but all for a wonderful event,” he said.

“I can’t wait to do it.”

Vivifica, who came second in Im Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here but had to withdraw from competing in TV show SAS: Who Dare to Win due to a shoulder injury, added: “I started really well, as I was training Mo Farah.

“Injured foot, injured calf, so the training fell off.

Jake Quickenden performed at Sarcoma UK’s Glitter Ball 2013 in March (Ian Randall/Sarcoma UK/PA)

“Whatever happens, I’m going to get it done. I’d still do it if I was on the treadmill.

“I was going to try an incredible time. I’m going to dress up a huge big mouth. It’s just enjoying it now.”

Vivifica, who welcomed son Leo with Sophie Church in 2021 and got married last year, has not only trained for the first six months of parenthood, but added: “Now that I’m two I can go out and run. It is a great help to my wife.”

“I just study it when he’s sleeping in bed, when he’s in bed, or when he’s not up yet.”

National Television Awards 2022 - London
Jake Quickenden and his wife Sophie at the National Television Awards in 2022 (Ian West/PA)

Oliver died of osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer most commonly diagnosed in young and young adults, and was revived earlier in Sarcoma UK’s shave head.

He was praised for raising awareness last year after he underwent an audition on live TV for the all-male Rapper’s Loose Women.

Vivifica said her father knew how important regular checkups were and wanted to encourage people not only to check themselves, but to talk to their friends about it.

“I tried to use the platform to help more than just post photos of my six pack,” he told PA.

“It was given to me for a reason. Before, when I wasn’t trying to help people, I felt something was lost.

“I feel like that’s what I’m here for.”

2019 London Half Marathon
Jake Quickenden crosses the finish line at the 2019 London Marathon (John Walton/PA)

He also spoke about his own experience of pain and told the PA: “It’s important to talk about pain.

“If you’re going through grief or you’re affected by cancer, you’ll get through it.”

Vivifica, who lives in Essex with her husband, Leon, and Freddie, Sophia’s son from a previous relationship, said: “I really like Essex. I have a good group membership.

“We have a lot of fields, parks and walks around us. It’s for kids for kids.”

Jake Quickenden, who first became famous on The X Factor, performed at Sarcoma UK’s Glitter Ball in March 2023 (Ian Randall/Sarcoma UK/PA)

Scunthorpe will always be home, he added: “I’m proud of where I come from.

“I go back as much as I can, there are all my old friends who grew up and played with my mum and my brother.

“My mum always loves me if it’s longer than three weeks.

“Scunthorpe will always be mine. I’m proud of coming from a working class place.

“My older brother still works at the steel works, I worked there when I was 17, he is one of the supervisors now.

“All my companions were to remain in Scunny. If I hadn’t met Sophia, I would have stayed there.”

National Television Awards 2019 - Arrivals - London
Jake Vivifica at the National Television Awards in 2019 (Ian West/PA)

Kerry Reeves-Kneip, director of fundraising and communications at Sarcoma UK, said: “When Jake approached us about the TCS London Marathon to run to raise money and awareness of sarcoma, we jumped at his offer.

“Jake is always turning heads, and there’s no way you’ll miss him while doing twenty miles in his bony fashion!

“Jake lost his father and younger brother to bone cancer and has since become a dedicated ambassador for Sarcoma UK.

“He understands how important it is for the charity to fund vital sarcoma research, provide support for those affected by the disease, and provide better treatments.

“We wish Jake all the best of luck on his big day. The whole team at Sarcoma UK will be there to cheer him on!

Mobo Awards 2014 - London
Jake Vivifica arriving at the Mobo Awards in 2014 (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Sarcomas are uncommon cancers that can affect any part of the body. The key piece of information is that it gets bigger quickly.

Around 15 people are diagnosed with sarcoma every day in the UK, around 5,300 people a year, and many tumors can be removed with surgery.

For other types of sarcoma, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are options.

Osteosarcoma accounts for approximately 30% of all bone sarcoma diagnoses and most commonly affects the knee, femur, leg or upper arm.

Symptoms include bone pain, especially at night, a mass or swelling and restricted movement in the joint, and can sometimes be confused with more common problems such as a sports injury or growing pains.

Information and support is available from the Sarcoma UK Support Line which cannot be contacted by emailing or calling 0808 801 0401.

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Ava Grey

Hi there! I'm Ava Grey, an enthusiastic article writer with a passion for the arts, fashion, and staying informed about current events. As a journalism student at the New York Academy of Art, I'm driven to use my writing to create positive change and spark meaningful conversations. I'm particularly interested in contemporary art and sustainable fashion, and I love exploring how people use these mediums to express themselves and communicate their values. I believe that staying informed and hearing different perspectives is essential for personal growth and learning, and I'm always eager to engage in lively debates and discussions.

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