A WIRRAL barrister is preparing to take part in this year's London Marathon in memory of his mother.

Ian Unsworth QC, 47, will be raising money for the charity Beating Bowel Cancer when he takes to London's streets in April.

His mother Jean died from bowel cancer in 1995. His brother Stuart was diagnosed with the condition when serving in Afghanistan with the army and is being treated for the disease.

Initially Stuart's prognosis was poor, but following surgery and treatment, four years later he is now doing well.

Ian, who as a QC and barrister is more used to wearing a wig and gown than lycra, said: "Four years ago I challenged myself to get in shape and I lost three stones in four months to help raise funds for charity.

"Since then I've been keen to keep up my fitness levels and I’ve become a regular runner.

"I've now completed several 10ks, the Great North Run and last year two triathlons; however I have never taken part in a marathon before so it will be a huge challenge.

"Having bowel cancer in my family I wanted to do something positive to raise awareness and funds.

"I had a scare myself last year and although I’m fine I know how important it is to know the symptoms and get help if you spot any.

"I'm honoured to be running in support of the charity Beating Bowel Cancer and I hope to raise £3,000 to go towards their vital work.

"The charity runs a helpline for patients and their families, giving people crucial information and support."

Talking about his marathon challenge, Ian said: "Training is going well but it can be tough to fit it in around my work.

"I had an Achilles injury over Christmas but I’m now back to full strength and looking forward to the challenge."

Danielle Chamberlain, events fundraising manager for Beating Bowel Cancer, said: "We were incredibly touched by Ian’s family experience of bowel cancer which shows the importance of charities like ours which support bowel cancer patients and their families.

"Only through the generous support of fundraisers like Ian can we continue to help more patients.

"We’re wishing Ian the best of luck for the marathon and we’ll be cheering him on from the side-lines."

Each year more than 40,000 are diagnosed with bowel cancer, but if caught early, more than 90% of cases can be treated successfully.

To donate to Ian’s fundraising effort, visit: www.justgiving.com/Ian-Unsworth1