Cardiff Half Marathon

Uncle Runs Cardiff Half For Nephew With Leukemia

A business manager from Cardiff is gearing up to take on the Wizz Air Cardiff Half Marathon next month for his nephew who has been diagnosed with leukemia.

Nadeem Afzal, 38, is running to raise money for Blood Cancer UK as his 14-year-old nephew, Yusuf, is due to finish a gruelling three years of treatment:

“He was 11 when he was diagnosed and is still having chemotherapy three years later. He’s had cycles of very intense chemotherapy and is now going through his maintenance chemo. This involves daily chemo along with regular hospital visits for chemotherapy under anesthetic. It’s been a very tough time for him and his family. The treatment upsets his stomach, his liver and has made side effects such as mouth ulcers, hair loss, sickness and he is very vulnerable to infections.”

Yusuf is the son of Nadeem’s sister, Tasneem Ali. From Cardiff, she now lives in Leicester where she works as a GP. She noticed that he wasn’t eating well and that he felt unusually tired. After taking some blood tests, the hospital’s oncology team called straight away and ordered a lumbar puncture to confirm the diagnosis:

“Yusuf also has a younger brother and sister so there have been times during the pandemic, they have all had to isolate and be extremely careful so that Yusuf didn’t catch Covid while his immune system was so low. My sister stopped working for a year after his diagnosis so she could take care of him.”

The family are from Cardiff but they relocated to Leicester before Yusuf was born.

“The charity Blood Cancer UK is obviously very close to our hearts. I want to run for them so we can support research to provide safer, more targeted treatments for children with leukemia,” says Nadeem who works for used car dealership, Ron Skinner and Sons in Cardiff.

“Treatments can be long and have dangerous side effects so more research will help shorten treatment options.”

While Yusuf is extremely proud of his uncle:

“I’m really pleased that my uncle is putting so much effort into raising money for Blood Cancer UK. Fundraising research helps patients like me immensely and I wish him the best of luck.”

The Cardiff Half is on track to generate its £20 millionth pound in fundraising at the 19th edition of the event this year. Race organisers are urging the public to get behind the event to help it reach this incredible milestone. Over £3 million is raised each year via partnerships with over 90 charities.

The race sold out earlier this summer, just three and half months after entries went on sale.

A record number of runners from outside Wales (both across the UK and overseas) are registered to take part this year. To celebrate, organisers will be using the event as a platform to celebrate Wales; showcasing everything that is so special and distinct about Cymru and to offer visitors a warm Welsh Welcome.

Adding to the event’s international appeal, it is now a part of the SuperHalfs – an international half marathon series including races in Lisbon, Prague, Valencia, Copenhagen and Cardiff. It challenges runners to complete the five-race circuit in 36 months in order to earn a ‘SuperMedal’ and other exclusive prizes.

You can donate to Nadeem’s JustGiving page:

Find out more about the event at

Back to news