A team of 23 runners will be taking part in the London Marathon on Sunday 26 April to help raise thousands of pounds for Rennie Grove Hospice Care.
Brothers Ben and Peter Griffiths will be running the London Marathon in memory of their dad, Keith, who died nearly three years ago from cancer.
Town Planner Peter, 26, of St Albans, says: “Throughout his battle Rennie Grove gave our dad and family fantastic support and advice to help us through this tough time. During his final few weeks, the support from the hospice at home nurses was incredible - keeping dad as comfortable as possible and guiding us through the unknown with remarkable care.
“Our dad wanted more than anything to spend his last months at home with his family and without Rennie Grove this would not have been possible. Whilst achieving all of this, it also allowed us to spend precious days with the most amazing dad all of us could have wished for. Thanks to the resources provided by Rennie Grove, we were even able to spend a final night around him in his own home before he passed away - something that was utterly invaluable.
“After proudly watching our sister, Nikki, run the marathon for Rennie Grove in 2013, it's now our turn to take up the baton and raise some money for this wonderful charity. It was one of dad's dreams to run the London Marathon with us all and although that is sadly no longer possible, running in his memory and for such a wonderful cause is the next best thing.”
Ben, 31, who works as a journalist in London, adds: “Running the marathon in dad’s memory and for a cause that gave so much to him and our family at the end of his life means the world.
“Before dad’s death we often discussed with him that one day we should try and run the London Marathon together as a family. He ran the marathon in 1984 and taking part has always been a life-time goal of mine.
“Dad was one of the most inspiring and caring men, who always had time for others and regularly raised money for good causes. To take part in a race he once participated in and for a cause close to his heart will honour him greatly.”
Callum Bruce, 22, of Harpenden, will also be running in memory of his dad who died two years ago from cancer.
Callum said: “My dad struggled for three years with cancer before his death. Since he died I am doing all the things that he would have wanted me to do. I think taking part in the London Marathon would have made him really proud, it is something I know he wanted me to do at some point.
“Currently I am running well and injury free! I am really enjoying the training and seeing the slow progression over the last few months.”
Stella Wilkinson, who lives in St Albans, previously worked for Rennie Grove as a Trusts fundraiser.
She explains: “Ever since I looked after the marathon team as a fundraiser myself I have wanted to run the London Marathon, well here is my chance! The furthest I have ever run is 13 miles so it will be a big challenge for me to double that.
“The motivation that has got me through a long cold winter of training was knowing that the money I raise will go to an amazing local charity. I have been fortunate enough to see at first hand the difference the nurses and family support team make to patients and families living with a life-limiting illness. I think it is SO important to be able to be cared for in the place of your choice at end of life, and that's what the nurses make happen.”
Last year the charity’s team included Rennie Grove Events Fundraiser, Gemma Martin. She says: “The atmosphere at the London Marathon was amazing and it was such a great feeling when I finally crossed the finish line. The sense of achievement was just fantastic.”
It is hoped the team of runners will help raise around £50,000 For Rennie Grove. £32,000 pays for one of the charity’s specialist nurses for one year.
If you would like to sponsor any of Rennie Grove’s runners please visit www.virginmoneygiving.com and enter the name of the runner. To make a donation to the team text RGLM15 followed by the amount you would like to donate to 70070. For example text RGLM15 £5 to 70070 to donate £5.