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Olympic torch: Week to go

There's a week to go until the Olympic flames makes its way through the Medway Towns.

Alec Martin accepting his award from Duncan Goodhew and Sangeeta Bharbra
Alec Martin accepting his award from Duncan Goodhew and Sangeeta Bharbra

And for one brave local youngster the Kent leg of the famous relay will be a triumph over adversity.

Alec Martin is postponing an operation so he can carry the torch.

The 14-year-old cancer sufferer, of St George’s Walk, Allhallows, needs an operation on his leg which had a pin inserted two years ago.

Alec has raised thousands of pounds for charity while battling the disease three times.

He was crowned the winner of this year’s Pride in Medway awards, pictured, for his courage, following in the footsteps of ultra marathon runner Jack Denness who has so far missed out on the honour of carrying the torch.

The Brompton Academy pupil, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, will carry the torch through Sturry, in Canterbury, on the afternoon of July 19 - the day before it arrives in Medway.

His mum Karen said he was "desperate" to walk with the torch, adding: "He’ll walk with one crutch and wear a leg brace. We’ve got to go for it and hope.

"He’s had so many experiences and lucky breaks since he’s got ill and this is going to be another thing for him to have as a memory."

If things go according to plan, he will go into hospital soon after carrying the flame.

Alec chooses charities that have helped him, such as the Starlight Children’s Foundation, Demelza Hospice Care and University College London, aiming to give something back so other children can benefit.

So far he has raised almost £7,000 and plans to keep on going.

Meanwhile, time is running out for ultra marathon man Jack Denness after he was given 11th hour hope he might still have the chance to be an Olympic torch carrier.

The 77-year-old charity runner had missed out on the selection process, but London mayor Boris Johnson took up his case earlier this month when he said he would see if any "provisions can be made" to get Jack a place.

Jack said: "I haven’t heard anything, but I’m not holding my breath. People are coming up to me and asking me about it, and I don’t even know who they are.

"I’m not thinking about me, I’m thinking about the kids. They’re all wishing I did get it."

Jack, of Canon Close, Rochester, works as a caretaker at St William of Perth Primary School.

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