A dedicated team of 10 runners is taking on the Virgin London Marathon to support St Elizabeth Hospice.
The 26.2 mile endurance race takes place on Sunday 13th April, and will see Hospice team join more than 35,000 runners as they make their way through the streets of London.
Student nurse Jessica Batih, 25, is running the marathon as a thank you for the care the Hospice has given to her aunt Sue Barham, a current day patient. Jessica said “My aunt always speaks of the Hospice so fondly and positively.
“I am so grateful for their support to her and to our family, and want to raise money so other families can have that experience as well.”
Runner Ali Stafford, 21, of Ipswich, is running in memory of family friend Royce Fosdike, who was cared for by the Hospice in the final weeks of his life before dying in April 2012, aged just 25. Ali said: “Having worked closely with Royce’s family for several years, I know how grateful they are for the care he received, so I wanted to do something to help support the Hospice.”
Emma Hibbert, 42,of Woodbridge, applied for one of the Hospice’s places to run in memory of her father, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and had regular appointments at the Hospice throughout his illness.
Emma said: “I absolutely dreaded the first time I went to visit my dad in the Hospice; I thought it would be a terribly sad and depressing place. I couldn’t have been more wrong, and was amazed at how upbeat each visit was.
“The supportive atmosphere was absolutely incredible.” The Hospice at Home team provided support for him and his family throughout his final days.
Dan Humphries, 35, of Ipswich, wants to give something back to the Hospice after his grandfather Geoff Warner was cared for as an inpatient. Dan said: “I think the Hospice is an amazing facility, my mother and grandmother had such comfortable surroundings in which to spend to share my grandfather’s final moments.
“I made a vow to them that I would do something to raise money for the Hospice to show our thanks, so to get a London Marathon place has been absolutely brilliant.”
Runner Andrew Robertson, 35, of Ipswich, has always wanted to take part in the London Marathon, and has taken part in a series of sponsored challenges to help his fundraising for the Hospice, including the freezing Christmas Day Dip.
“This meant that when I decided to run the marathon, St Elizabeth Hospice was my first choice of charity to support.”
Runners Wendy Warner and Sam Willingale were lucky enough receive marathon places in the ballot, and have chosen to run in support of St Elizabeth Hospice. Wendy is raising money for the Hospice after three of her friends died there in 2013. Sam also has first hand experience of the care provided by the Hospice, having grown up in Suffolk and known people who have used Hospice services.
Also running is Sarah Wood, who got a marathon place through JAFFA running club. She was inspired to run on behalf of the Hospice by her friend’s husband, who stayed on the Inpatient Unit over Christmas and has since returned home.
Ipswich Star reporter Lauren Everitt is also taking part to raise money for the Hospice, and has been lucky enough to have the date of the race fall on her birthday. Lauren was due to run the marathon in 2013, but had to withdraw due to an injury. She said: “I was really disappointed to have to pull out last year” said Lauren “but running in 2014 has actually given me longer to train, so it’s been a blessing in disguise.”
Last year, Virgin London Marathon runners raised more than £12,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice. The charity costs £9.1 million a year to run, and relies on fundraising events and activities, donations and the income generated from its shops to meet the majority of these costs.
If you would like to run the London Marathon for St Elizabeth Hospice next year, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01473 723600 for more information.