London 2012: Daughter carries Olympic flame through Tower Hamlets in memory of cancer victim dad
The daughter of a Torchbearer who died of cancer is to carry the Flame in his memory through the East End.
Dennis St Croix, who was a tireless fundraiser and worked in the borough, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in April last year.
The marathon runner, who competed in every London Marathon from 1981 to 2010 and raised money for charity, had hoped to be able to carry the Torch through Tower Hamlets, but his cancer spread and he passed away on June 11.
Hundreds of people attended his funeral at St Patrick’s Church, Wapping, earlier this month. His wife Edith Philipsen said: “He was looking forward to carrying the Torch. Initially his chemotherapy was going well and he was training for the marathon. Then the cancer got worse.
“He didn’t want to carry the Torch in his wheelchair, he just wanted to walk it – that was going to be his next goal. He was so strong and so determined.”
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The couple’s daughter Yasmine, 13, is now due to carry it in her dad’s place. Edith, 44, hopes that their son Thomas, 10, will be allowed to run alongside.
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Following the relay the family will go to Wapping Park, where a bench will be unveiled in Dennis’s memory.
Dennis, who lived with his family in Wanstead, worked at Wapping Youth Club and at the John Orwell Sports Centre – where he and Edith met. While at the leisure centre he was also working as a sports coach and decided to make teaching his full-time occupation in 2006, when he started his company, Dennis St Croix Sports in Schools Ltd, which now employs 25 coaches and works across Tower Hamlets with schools.
Edith said: “He was a role model for children. He was a good sportsman and much-loved in the local community.”
- Dennis’s family are raising money for Cancer Research UK and McMillan in his memory and have so far gathered close to �5,000. To donate visit www.just giving.com/Dennis-StCroix.