Running a marathon for Hospice care

24th April 2023

Woman running Manchester Marathon, wearing blue St Barnabas running top, next to man wearing grey T-short

On 16th April, Lauren Wood from Lincoln laced up her trainers to run the Manchester Marathon in support of St Barnabas after the hospice charity looked after her mother.

To thank the Hospice’s staff for their good care of her beloved mother Carolyn, Lauren wanted to raise £500. She has absolutely smashed that target, with her JustGiving page currently standing at double – an incredible £1,000.

Carolyn was diagnosed with breast cancer in the mid-2010s, which she bravely fought. In 2019 she was suffering from headaches and thinking there may be a problem with be her vision, she visited her optician, who sent her straight to the hospital.

Carolyn was diagnosed with a brain tumour, which was operated on, and radiotherapy followed. Later that year, she became ill again and was in the hospital for some weeks before the family received the dreadful news that the cancer had spread to her liver.

Woman wearing yellow and black beanie hat and black top with necklace, smiling.

Lauren says: “Mum had days or weeks to live, and said she didn’t want to go through treatment again. This is when St Barnabas stepped in. That very day, my father and I visited the Inpatient Unit in Lincoln so we could decide whether that would be a good fit her, and we were so pleased. The room available to her was quiet, private, and there were lots of nurses on hand.

“Mum was moved to the Hospice that night and I travelled in the ambulance with her. They washed her, helped her wear her own clothes and made her comfortable. In the hospital, mum hadn’t been drinking and her mouth looked sore and uncomfortable. Immediately the St Barnabas nurses helped her by use of a mouth cleaning kit, she looked much more peaceful and pain free after that.

“They were able to manage mum’s pain and also cared for us, they set up beds in her room so we could stay over with no visiting restrictions. We received endless cups of tea and coffee, and food was always provided if we needed it. No one was rushed, all the nurses were always in good spirits and loved finding out about mum’s life. They would talk to her even though she wasn’t conscious, as they said she could hear us, and we’d tell them funny stories about what she was like.”

Carolyn passed away on 6th October 2019 after a three-day stay at the Inpatient Unit, surrounded by her family. Lauren has been supporting St Barnabas ever since and signed up for the Manchester Marathon after having enjoyed running for many years.

Woman running Manchester Marathon, wearing blue St Barnabas running top

She says: “I signed up and told St Barnabas I was running for them, and the team have been brilliant. There are a lot of check-ins from them along the way, with fundraising and training tips, as well as invites to group training with other people who are fundraising for them.

“I was invited to a Facebook group for fundraisers, which is great to keep each other going and where we can share our stories and progress. I received a goodie bag with St Barnabas merch, including a running top, water bottle and other items. This way, I never forget what I’m running for!

“The week before the marathon I was feeling nervous but excited. In that week St Barnabas had stepped into our lives again providing care at home for my father-in-law, Graham, in his last days with us. Race day was very emotional, and I spent a lot of the run with a lump in my throat. The best part for me was spotting my family cheering me on and stopping for a hug to keep me going.

“The crowds were amazing, shouting out the names on the runners’ tops, and children holding their hands out for a high five. It really got me through that midway struggle! There were bands, DJs and choirs all the way round to spur you on. Although it was tough on my body, I loved it and want to do another marathon for St Barnabas!”

St Barnabas encourage running enthusiasts to choose the Hospice as their charity to support when signing up to marathons this year. If you are still looking for a challenge, the charity has spaces available for the iconic Berlin Marathon, taking place on 24th September in the historic city. Click here to find out more and to book your space.

Woman in blue top hugging man during Manchester Marathon

St Barnabas also offer exhilarating once in a lifetime adventures, such as skydiving and wing walking, where you are strapped into a seat on the wings of an airplane, and walking over fire or LEGO.

If these challenges are too extreme, there are many other ways to support the Hospice this summer, including hosting a coffee morning or Pub Quiz, by volunteering or shopping in its 25 Lincolnshire-wide shops or online. To find out all the ways you can support St Barnabas, visit:

Lauren says: “Mum loved shopping and was always picking things up she thought other people would like, we would often go around St Barnabas charity shops and hunt for a bargain. My mum lit up any room, you usually heard before you saw her! I miss her a lot, but I know what a difference St Barnabas’ care made to her last few days, and I am forever grateful.”

St Barnabas supports more than 12,000 people across Lincolnshire with a life-limiting or terminal illness each year, by offering free, high-quality, compassionate end-of-life care and support to patients, their families, and carers.

Fundraise for us

Support your local Hospice by taking part in one of our pre-organised challenges, or take on your own! You will receive support along every step of the way!

Learn more about Fundraising


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