“I will always be grateful” – meet the runners taking on the London Marathon to raise funds for our hospitals
The London Marathon 2022 raised more than £58m for charity, and for the 2023 London Marathon, St George’s, Epsom and St Helier are set to have a slice of the pie thanks to runners like Ricky, Joanna and Claire who are running and raising funds for the hospital group this weekend.
All three are running the infamous 26.2 miles to raise funds for healthcare services across St George’s, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals, either as a thank you for the excellent care they have received or as a contribution to improving the patient care and services they provide.
Ricky Chapman is raising funds for St George’s Hospital Charity, specifically for the ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) team who saved his father’s life. Dad, Roger Chapman, was diagnosed with a stage 4 tumour on the left side of his neck in January 2022.
The tumour ran through a main nerve, which caused complications including not being able to close one eye, having teeth removed and losing feeling and movement down one side of his face.
In a 20-hour operation in February 2022, St George’s ENT surgeon, Mr Offo, successfully removed the cancerous tumour, followed by a five-hour operation by St George’s plastics surgeon, Mr Vesely, to repair his eye.
Ricky said: “The care my dad received by the heroic doctors was outstanding, from the very beginning all the way to the anticipated news of the all-clear in May 2022. Not once did my dad feel like just another patient. He felt cared for, respected and attended to.
“By taking on this huge and difficult challenge, I would like to raise as much as possible, which will go fully to the ENT unit at St George’s Hospital. As a big thank you to Mr Offo and Mr Vesley and their amazing teams.”
Ricky has smashed his original target of raising £2000 by raising an incredible £2840 for St George’s Hospital Charity.
Ricky said: “Thanks to St George’s, my dad was able to attend my wedding last year and one day will be able to meet his future grandchildren. For this I will always be grateful.”
Amerjit Chohan, Chief Executive of St George’s Hospital Charity, said: “When we hear stories and feedback from people about the outstanding care and support that they or their loved ones received, we know that’s what makes St George’s Hospital stand out from the rest.
“We’re proud to be the hospital’s charity and we’re committed to improving patient and staff experiences in the hospital, but we can’t do that without the generosity of our supporters. We’re extremely grateful to all those raising vital funds for our work. Good luck to all the runners, we’ll be cheering you on along the route on the day.”
It’s not just patients or their relatives running the marathon though as Joanna Thompson, Advanced Orthoptist at Epsom and St Helier Hospitals, is aiming to raise £1,000 to upgrade bedside vision tests within the stroke ward to support the ongoing rehabilitation of patients recovering after having a stroke.
Joanna only set her fundraising page up last week and has already received nearly £800 in donations.
Joanna said: “I’ve already been blown away by everyone’s kindness and generosity. It’s incredible to have raised so much in such a short amount of time, and I’d like to thank everyone who has donated so far.”
The support goes further than these donations, as on the day family and friends will be there to cheer Joanna on, alongside the amazing crowds of people that London Marathon is renowned for.
But blink and you’ll miss her – as speedy Joanna is hoping to go sub-3.30, having run 3 hours 41 minutes in her first marathon in Lisbon in 2021.
“The one lesson I learnt from the previous marathon is to take longer with my training, so this time I’ve been training for five to six months. I’ve also made my long runs easier and more relaxed, and mixed things up with some other sessions like speed work,” she said.
“I feel nervous, but I know I will be fine, and I’m really excited for the atmosphere. When that start gun goes off, and you’re in a river of other runners, you just switch mentality.”
Finally, Claire Moore who works at St George’s Hospital as a staff nurse on the Oncology Day Unit is running to support St George’s Hospital Charity – and she’s already surpassed her £2000 target, having raised £2095 so far.
Claire said: “I decided to run the London Marathon for St George’s Hospital Charity, as I have seen the great work they provide to patients all over south west London.
“Running has always been something my family and I are passionate about and it’s a pleasure to run on behalf of the hospital”.
Claire, alongside the 40,000 other runners set to take on the London Marathon on Sunday, has put in a great deal of preparation and it’s important that all runners stay safe and well during training and throughout their run to avoid any injuries or illnesses. Top tips include:
- Drink what you feel you need to quench your thirst
- Do not drink large amounts of fluid after finishing. You can rehydrate (replace lost fluids) gradually over the next 24 to 48 hours
- Consider eating less protein and more carbohydrate, especially over the last three days when you will also be markedly reducing your training
- Wear appropriate clothes for the weather when you’re running. On a cold, wet day a hat and gloves will prevent heat loss and are easily carried. If it is hot, wear loose mesh clothing, start slowly and, if possible, run in the shade. Don’t wear multiple layers and don’t try to attempt a personal best if the weather is unseasonably warm. Wear shoes you know from experience will not give you blisters
- Do not run if you feel unwell or have just been unwell, even if you are raising money for charity. Most medical emergencies occur in people who have been unwell but do not wish to miss the event
- If you have ‘flu’, a feverish cold or a tummy bug, do not train until you have fully recovered
- Discuss any medical problems with your GP. For example, if you have a family history of heart disease or sudden death or a high risk from high cholesterol or high blood pressure, and particularly if you have symptoms of heart disease then you should see your GP.
Notes to editors
Sponsor Ricky here.
Sponsor Joanna here.
Sponsor Claire here.
Medical advice for the London Marathon can be found here.