Cure Leukaemia Chief Executive, and former Bears Commercial Director, James McLaughlin recently called into Edgbaston as part of a 100-miles plus virtual running challenge to help counter the £1,500,000 shortfall that the charity is facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the Bears sitting alongside Aston Villa, Birmingham City and many other of the region’s leading sporting institutions, James is hoping to raise £10,000 for the blood cancer charity’s Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP), which consists of a network of specialist research nurses based in 12 of the UK’s biggest cities and a facilitatory hub based in the Centre for Clinical Haematology at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

James is breaking his journey into eleven 14km legs and one 14-mile leg he completed halfway through the challenge, with the latest section completed on Monday in the Bears’ current Vitality Blast shirt. He has also been joined and supported by fans of other leading sporting clubs and institutions across the region and will have run 180km in total in under one month when his ‘Tour of the TAP’ concludes on Friday.

Speaking about his challenge, James said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the fundraising plans of charities across the world with the cancellation of key events. Whilst this is clearly a challenging time for us all I wanted to do something positive to help blood cancer patients across the UK.

“A person is diagnosed with blood cancer every 14 minutes in the UK so that is why I have decided to run 14km for patients at each of the 12 blood cancer locations, including Birmingham, we fund as part of the TAP.

“I am very grateful to Warwickshire County Cricket Club’s support for the 10th leg of my challenge and to everyone that has supported me along the way to generate vital funds for Cure Leukaemia.”

James McLaughlin, Cure Leukaemia