WHEN Saltcoats man David Campbell takes part in the Edinburgh marathon in May, it will mean so much for to the 41-year-old than a 26.2 mile run.

That is because it gives the Ardrossan-born man the chance to give back to a charity very close to home.

When David was just a tot, it is fair to say he and his family went through a lot.

Aged just two, David became the first person in the world to undergo three born marrow transplants - as he battled leukaemia.

These, however, were unsuccessful, and his survival chances were stated as around only 20 per cent.

At one point, David was even put into a coma, and his heartbroken parents were told to plan his funeral.

David could not hold himself up, and had to be fed through a tube at Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow.

But, as was reported all those years ago, his parents "gave their faith a chance" and one mealtime pulled his tube out.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: An old newspaper article discussing David's miracle recovery.An old newspaper article discussing David's miracle recovery. (Image: Submitted)

Much to their surprise, later that day, their "miracle toddler" sat up, asked what was for tea, and "their prayers had been answered" as David's own bone marrow began to come back.

Now, nearly 40 years on, David has stepped up in his bid to give back to those who supported him, and his family, through this ordeal as he bids to run the Edinburgh marathon on May 28.

His parents were given particular support by the Leukaemia Society, and David's dad would later volunteer for the organisation too.

As this charity no longer exists, David has chosen to give back to another Leukaemia based organisation - Leukaemia UK.

His fundraising decision comes off the back of running the Loch Ness marathon, his first and only marathon to date, last year after a friend asked if he would do so for a local chairty.

David told the Herald: “I had never actually planned on doing any marathon, I wasn’t a runner before that.

“On the lead up to it, I was thinking ‘I wish I had actually done something for Leukaemia’ just because of the history there and it would be a bit more meaningful.

“When I actually managed to do that I signed up to Edinburgh so I could do it for a Leukaemia charity.

“I’m not sure if I’ll do any more after this but I just wanted to give back a bit.”

While giving back has been the main driving factor behind David's marathon efforts, there is further reason David will be taking the the streets of the capital city.

He continued: “It’s a personal thing, just to be able to do this when I know that I probably shouldn’t be here.

“It was the early 80s and treatment quite different from it is now – my survival chances were about 20 per cent.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: David smiling away in hospital as a toddler.David smiling away in hospital as a toddler. (Image: Submitted)

“I was in a coma, my mum and dad were told to plan my funeral at one point, so I think even just to do this for myself to celebrate the fact that I’m still here.

“I’m fit and able to do a marathon and raising the money for a charity that I know will be able to help people going through leukaemia, whether it’s them or their children, that means a lot.”

And David says his family are backing him all the way, as he works hard everyday to make sure he's fit, and ready to meet his goal of finishing the race.

He added: “It’s definitely challenging – I’ve got the experience of doing Loch Ness last year and that’s one of the most difficult I could have done.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: David at the finish line of the Loch Ness Marathon.David at the finish line of the Loch Ness Marathon. (Image: Submitted)

“I know that I can do it but the main thing is the amount of commitment that it takes.

“You’re going out and no matter what you feel like you’ve got to put the hours in or you’re never going to make it on the day.

“My family have been great and my wife understands that I just need to get out and get the hours in. Everybody supports me well through this.”

The Saltcoats man added that he hopes to repay their faith in him through not only this, but his health battle back in the early 80s.

He knows this run means as much to them as it does to him.

He commented: “Especially for my mum, it’s a huge thing for her because she went through months of not knowing if I was going to still be here.

“Even though it was 40 years ago it’s still as raw it was back then – for her it means so much that I’m able to do this.

“It’s quite an emotional thing for her to see that I’m able to do what I’m doing.”

“My dad passed away a few years ago, he volunteered for the Leukaemia Society after I came out of hospital – he eventually had to give it up because it was too emotional for him.

“I suppose it’s a wee nod to my dad because he’s a big motivation for me doing these marathons – this one more so because of the leukaemia link and I know how proud of me he’d be.”

David has set a modest goal of raising £500 for Leukaemia UK by running the Ediburgh marathon. He is currently just under half way towards his target.

For more information, and to donate, visit tinyurl.com/DavidCampbellMarathon.