As East Anglia prepares for the Great East Run this weekend, one runner has more reason that most to pound the pavements and raise awareness of a cause close to her heart.
In 2013, Amelia Hudson’s father David died at St Elizabeth Hospice. He’d been diagnosed with a brain tumour 13 months before and spent his final three weeks at the hospice in Ipswich.
“I think it was a relief to him to come in to the hospice,” she says. “We all celebrated his 62nd birthday at home with him on the Friday and he came in to the hospice on the Saturday. We could not have coped without the hospice. By the time he was admitted he couldn’t communicate at all. It was good for us all to know that he was being looked after.”
David was a sound engineer and loved his music. Amelia recalls: “The nurses knew he was a musician and loved music. For his final few days he spent time in a single room and they played Chopin for him to listen to. I’m sure he could hear that right up until the end. They really went all out.”
The Great East Run will be Amelia’s first challenge to raise money for the hospice. “Friends of ours took part in the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for the hospice following dad’s death and now it’s my turn!”
The run is particularly important to Amelia following a substantial weight loss period since her father died. “I embarked on a weight loss journey last April and I’ve lost five stone since then. I thought about running this April and I went out with a friend of mine where we completed about three or four miles on our first outing. I then saw the Great East run advertised and thought ‘hmmm, we could do that’.” When the extra tickets were released Amelia secured two; one for her and the other for the friend that has supported her.
“I’ve never been a runner,” she said. “I won’t complete it in a fantastically quick time but I will complete it!”
The events and challenges team at the hospice has been supporting the Great East runners, as they do with all those that take part in a challenge in support of the charity.
Joanne Rodger, events and challenges fundraising manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “Amelia and all of our runners have worked really hard to get to this point and the last few days before any challenge is always the time when the excited nerves build.
“We’re grateful to everyone that has chosen to take part in the Great East run on our behalf and we’ll be there on the day to cheer them on.”
Amelia will join 22 others taking part in the Great East Run to raise money for the hospice, including a team of 13 from Riverhills Health Club and Spa which has chosen St Elizabeth Hospice as their charity of the year.
To sponsor Amelia and support the hospice, please visit her fundraising page: https://dch.muchloved.com/