Widower sets himself a marathon task

PAUL BOURKE had always wanted to test himself by running a marathon and show his wife and three children he was up to the challenge.

Next week he will face another challenge, when he takes part in a four-day Melbourne to Sydney charity run.

However, Mr Bourke's wife Suzette will not be watching. She died in 2010 after a brain aneurism. Her donated organs were able to save the lives of six other people.

Last year Mr Bourke, of Chipping Norton, completed a full marathon in Melbourne after his children told him that ''mummy would want you to do it''. Now he wants to help raise awareness of the need for people to discuss becoming an organ donor and to raise money for support services.

Mr Bourke will set off from Melbourne's Federation Square a week tomorrow to run the non-stop ''Greatest Gift'' relay to his children's school in Sydney's south-west.

''Suzette had the aneurism on a Friday night at Little Athletics. She died two weeks later in hospital,'' Mr Bourke said. ''You never expect those things to happen … we had discussed organ donation … and we both decided to sign up to be donors.''

To donate go to thegreatestgift.org.au

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