1. ITV Report

Charity run

Gerard Varin hopes to raise more than £20,000 Photo: Gerard Varin

A Derbyshire man is to run to Switzerland in honour of nine women in his village who have been affected by breast cancer.

Gerard Varin, 47, from Duffield, a village of about 5,000 residents, also lost both his parents to cancer before they turned 60.

Now he is setting off on his epic challenge to support Breast Cancer Campaign.

Dad-of-four Gerard, who moved to the UK from Switzerland to be with his wife Helen 20 years ago, will leave his home today and complete his run in Seleute, the village in North West Switzerland where he was born.

He is hoping to raise more than £20,000 for Breast Cancer Campaign with the 740-mile run.

As a self-employed landscape gardener, he will also be missing out on five weeks of earnings to take on the marathon challenge.

Gerard said: "It's shocking that in this one small village so many women could be affected by breast cancer.

"When my friend Tracey told me last year she too had the disease I felt helpless and wanted to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign as a way of showing my support."

"This is beyond anything I've ever attempted before. I know it's going to be tough physically and mentally, but it's a fantastic cause."

Angela Adams, community fundraising manager at Breast Cancer Campaign, said:

"This is an extraordinary challenge which few people would dare take on and we are so grateful that Gerard has chosen to do something like this for Breast Cancer Campaign."

Gerard will be running alone, but will have help from members of the Round Table, a community club with groups based worldwide, which has vowed to help him wherever possible by providing free overnight accommodation, showers and food.

He is due to complete his run on May 1, where family, friends and supporters will greet him at the finish line in Switzerland.

Supporters can follow his progress online as he will be carrying a GPS tracker.

To track his progress head here.