Raising money for Charity isn’t as easy as it sounds. You need to have a reason, and be passionate about it, to give up your precious time, and to ask people to support and finance you, whilst doing it. Here’s the inspiration behind Kay Couldwell’s (Good Travel Management Ltd. Stockport Office) match-funding application and why she ran the London Marathon for Barnsley Hospice: Having applied to run the London marathon for many years without success, when my letter came in October last year I was absolutely ecstatic. In
fact I screamed so loudly, my eldest girl, Elle, came running downstairs, she thought I had won the lottery. To me it felt like I had. Having run various races over the years for breast cancer care, I decided I was going to do the Marathon for myself, people had given so generously over the years that I just didn’t like to ask again. That soon changed. My friend, Rachel was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer two year ago. She had magnificent care during her treatment from the cancer hospital in Leeds, and from the nurses at Macmillan, however hospitals aren’t experts at end of life care. In March Rachel’s cancer spread to her brain, and she knew she had little time left. Her husband, Richard, was advised to go and look around Barnsley hospice, the aim of the hospice is to make the end of life as comfortable, dignified and easy as possible for both the patient and the family. Many patients get to go home and are cared for round the clock, by the hospice nurses. Rachel never made it home, she died on the 2nd of April in her sleep. The hospice made such a huge difference to Rachel’s end of life days, and to the family. The child psychologist looked after little Katie and Jack, and will continue to do so for as many years as they need them to. Richard and I walk together most weeks and he has spoken so highly of the care, both physically and mentally, that Rachel and the family received from Barnsley hospice. His words were “there is nothing I would change or nothing I could improve about the hospice, they were wonderful”. The hospice needs £2 million per year to stay open and that’s why I decided to run my marathon for them. The training was so hard, it’s not fun getting up at 5am on a Sunday morning in the snow to run 20 miles. The race itself is tough, the last 6 miles were like running in mud for me, I felt like I was climbing Everest. The thing is, I bet Rachel felt like that every morning of her life in the last few months, and so running a marathon was nothing really. What made it even more wonderful was the support I had from the Mathew Good Foundation, everyone in my village knew that the foundation had so generously offered to match fund, then DOUBLE. So many friends, colleagues and people I didn’t even know donated, many much more than they could afford, as they knew it would be tripled. It was just so humbling. I ran the marathon 3 weeks after Rachel’s funeral, in the headband I
wore at the funeral, which has huge sentimental value, and it felt like Rachel was cheering me round. I wanted to write this piece personally to thank the foundation for their generosity. End of life isn’t a subject many of us want to talk about, but it happens, and we do need places like the hospice, they have an essential role in the community. I am so thankful they were there for Rachel and continue to be so for other families.