THE owner of a fruit and vegetable stall in Yate is weighing up his chances in the first ever Bristol to Bath Marathon.

Jimmy Deane, who runs Jimmy Dean’s Fruit, Veg and Salad Ltd, is taking on the gruelling challenge in aid of brand new charity for rare cancers after his friend Nicola Henderson was diagnosed with EHE (Epithelioid Hemangioendothelioma), a rare vascular cancer.

Jimmy, 35, is hoping to raise at least £2,000 for EHE Rare Cancer Charity, which was only established in July and received no government funding.

“Not many people have even heard of it,” said Jimmy, from Yate. “They are just starting out so it is about raising awareness as well.”

Nicola, who is good friends with Jimmy’s fiancée Charlene Ollerenshaw, found out she had cancer in May 2014 by accident.

“I had some infections after having my son Owen, who is now 17 months,” said the 31-year-old.

“I was in hospital on and off for eight weeks and was diagnosed with a heart condition. When they were doing an MRI scan they went a bit further down and found lesions on my liver.”

Nicola’s cancer is so rare it affects just 0.01 per cent of the population and around one in one million people worldwide. So far it has proved unresponsive to any chemotherapy and little is known about how to treat the strain.

Said Nicola, also from Yate: “I had no symptoms and I don’t now, which makes me wonder how many more people have it and don’t know.

“I am okay physically, I am just trying to get my head around it all.

“I am learning to live with the fact it is in there and the uncertainty that brings. That is what is horrid.”

Nicola and her family and friends are trying to focus on fundraising for research into the EHE and are planning numerous events later in the year.

EHE Rare Cancer Charity chief executive Hugh Leonard said the charity aimed to raise £120,000 by the end of the year so it could recruit additional researchers to its small team. 

"Our UK charity alone has already raised half this amount but we need others to join our fight," he said.

"That is why Jimmy is running the marathon, but we want the people of Bristol to support him too, so if they can sponsor Jimmy their donations will all go towards EHE research and the fight against rare cancer.

"These donations will be life changing and in reality, will be life saving too. It is hard to think of a better cause."

Father-of-two Jimmy, who took up running two years ago after putting on weight, will run the Bristol to Bath Marathon on October 25.

“I took it up as a bit of a fitness thing but I really enjoy it and things have escalated from there,” he said. “I did my first marathon, the London Marathon, this year and have done several half marathons and 10km runs.

“I train by running about 50 miles a week so I’m hoping to do a decent time but also raise as much money and awareness for the charity as we can.”

To sponsor Jimmy go to