Couple run 50 miles in memory of treasured mum

26th July 2018

Couple have taken on the Westcountry Ultra Flat 50 Miler and raised £2,500

A couple have taken on the Westcountry Ultra Flat 50 Miler and raised £3,700 for St Barnabas Hospice

Zoe Francis (38), along with her partner, Russell Broster (35), have successfully completely the Westcountry Ultra Flat 50 Miler in memory of Zoe’s mum, Brenda Francis. They have raised an amazing £3,700 for St Barnabas Hospice.

Zoe’s mum, Brenda, was diagnosed with anal canal cancer and lymph nodes secondary, and sadly died on 16th December 2016 following a seven-week stay at the St Barnabas Inpatient Unit in Lincoln.

Brenda was diagnosed with the cancer shortly after the family returned from a surprise family cruise around the Caribbean to celebrate her 70th birthday in 2015.

Zoe said:

“Mum fought the cancer initially with fierce determination. She went through rounds of invasive radiotherapy and chemotherapy, sadly with neither treatment showing any sign of improvement.

“When we found out the cancer was terminal, Mum tried to carry on as normal. In time, the side effects of the cancer began to restrict her daily activities and we had no choice but to admit her to St Barnabas Hospice.

“I couldn’t wish what Mum went through on anyone, but in that awful situation we found ourselves in, St Barnabas Hospice was the best place she could have been.

“The whole team were amazing. They went over and above anything we could have imagined to make Mum as welcome and comfortable as possible through those last seven weeks. As well as being there for Mum 24/7, they comforted and supported my siblings and I on many occasion, and nothing was ever too much to ask.”

This was the couple’s first fundraising activity for St Barnabas Hospice, and the money they raised was increased by a generous donation of £1,000 from DPD, Russell’s place of work. To add to their sponsorship amount, please visit

Zoe said:

“We are so happy to be giving something back to St Barnabas for all that they did for our family. The charity wouldn’t be able to run and do such amazing things for families like ours without financial support.

“Mum was always so full of life, and her diagnosis made us so close as a family. She would be so proud for what we have done in her memory. She is truly one in a million.”

Zoe’ brother, Mark, has also taken on an ‘Ultra’ run for St Barnabas. Mark completed the 52 mile Race to the Tower last month. Jobi, Zoe’s nephew, added to the fundraising pot by completing the Three Peaks Challenge. In total, the family have raised around £5,000 for St Barnabas Hospice.

If you would like to take on a challenging event in support of St Barnabas Hospice, please contact Mike Pastor at [email protected] or call 01522 540 300.

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