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Running to highlight the importance of palliative care

Growing up, Suzanne remembers watching the iconic London Marathon on the TV at home, watching thousands of brightly dressed runners take on the 26.2-mile journey on the world-famous route that encompasses many of the capital’s landmarks, old and new.  

“As an adult, I still watch the marathon annually, and without fail, I get quite emotional watching all those runners while hearing the iconic London Marathon theme,” Suzanne said. 

Now, Suzanne is preparing to lace up her own running shoes this year and will be stepping onto the course as a participant in the largest annual one-day fundraising event on the planet.

“I still cannot believe I will be there myself in that atmosphere!”

Last year, the London Marathon was the biggest marathon ever staged anywhere in the world, with 48,599 participants taking on the traditional course from London’s Greenwich to The Mall, and a further 4,129 people from more than 101 countries completing the challenge virtually across the globe.

It’s a challenge that Suzanne will be completing in aid of Shooting Star, with her drive and determination stemming not only from the work the charity does for children with life-limiting conditions and their families, but also from her own experience working in palliative and hospice care in the early stages of her career as a registered nurse.

“Since then, despite no longer nursing, I have always been a strong advocate of hospice care for those with life-limiting conditions and approaching end of life,” Suzanne explains. 

“The unwavering support through end-of-life care and throughout bereavement for families is vital. My experience of hospice care has always been limited to adult care. With children of my own and now working in a primary school, I decided that I would like to support a local charity that provides such vital services for our community, with children at the core. 

“I understand the demands of such a charity financially, so my hope is that I can make, however small, a difference.” 

Suzanne will be running alongside a team of 60 runners who will be taking strides in support of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices this year.  

“Team is a verb, meaning coming together to achieve a common goal. That’s exactly how it feels to be part of the Shooting Star team. We are all ‘in it together’. Sharing our runs and, most importantly, our ups and downs. The support and camaraderie that the WhatsApp group provides, for example, is fabulous. We are our own little community. We all understand each other!” 

Suzanne says she finds running a tough sport, and it “never feels easy.”  

“I often need my running buddy to physically push me out the door! It does, however, allow me to see my local community, which otherwise may go unnoticed.  

“I have seen the most beautiful sunsets over Ranmore. I have witnessed breath-taking rainbows over Norbury Park, and I have found some of the best views of Surrey, all because of running.  

“I feel the more miles I have run during my marathon training; I have learned a massive appreciation for my ability to run. It is a privilege. It is not lost on me that while I may moan about the two-hour run in the wet and cold, others in the Shooting Star community are waking up to another unimaginable day.” 

You can support Suzanne’s marathon challenge by donating here, with all funds raised helping to make every moment count for families facing the unimaginable.   


If  Suzanne has inspired you to be a part of Team Shooting Star at the London Marathon next year, visit our website for more information.