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Thursday, 30 October 2014

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Sisters to take on 10 half-marathons for Eden Valley Hospice

Two sisters have pledged to complete 10 half-marathons to mark the 10th anniversary of their mother’s death.

Eden Valley marathon runners photo
From left, Ben Tickle, Linzi Donald, Kerry Donald, Vicky Kendall, Ruth Forrester and Leanne Donald

Alison Donald was diagnosed with lung cancer in March 2000, and battled her illness courageously.

She spent the final weeks of her life as a patient in Eden Valley Hospice, in Carlisle, and died aged 36 on May 14, 2003.

Her eldest daughter Leanne, 25, was out running with her friend Ruth when she came up with her fundraising challenge.

“I’ve always wanted to do something for the 10th anniversary since mum died,” she explained. “We wanted to do the London marathon, but because that is so hard to get into I thought why not make up our own challenge.”

And so Leanne – joined by fiancé Ben Tickle, sister Linzi, cousin Kerry Donald, and friends Ruth Forrester, Emma Forrester and Vicky Kendall – has embarked on her half-marathon challenge. The team of seven Carlisle runners completed their first 13-mile run in Catforth, Lancashire, on January 6, and are now preparing for their second on February 24.

Leanne, who works for accountants David Allen, said: “We don’t want sympathy: this is just a big push to raise as much money as we can to give something back to Eden Valley Hospice. It’s a really worthwhile charity and doesn’t receive the funding it should.”

Her employers have allowed Leanne to post updates about her challenge on blogs and newsletters, and supplied hooded jumpers and T-shirts for the competitors.

The team will complete a half-marathon every month, culminating with the Cumbrian Run in October. Other runners, including Alison’s third daughter Claire, have agreed to take part in individual events.

Andrew Maddison, marketing officer for the hospice, said: “Everybody at Eden Valley Hospice would like to thank the team for undertaking this amazing fundraising challenge.

“We wish them the very best of luck in completing all ten half-marathons in the coming ten months.”

He continued: “This shows that there are a number of ways which the local community can raise money to support the work of Eden Valley Hospice.

“Without the generosity of the community our dedicated team of nurses would be unable to provide the high standards of care when people need it the most.”

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/alisons10yearanniversary

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