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Friday, 4 December 2020


Marie Curie makes a public appeal to support the Virtual Great North Run

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MARIE Curie is calling on people to take part in the Virtual Great North Run this September, to ensure the hospice in Newcastle and services in the North East of England can continue supporting people with a terminal illness and their families.

The Great North Run is an important day in the calendar for the North East, runners, spectators but in particular for charities. The cancellation of the event means that Marie Curie could lose over £100,000 of vitals funds to support the hospice in Newcastle.

Marie Curie Community Fundraiser, Hayley Revell said:

“We shared the disappointment and sadness to hear about the cancellation of the Great North Run with the whole region, but we understand why it couldn’t go ahead. We are now asking people to support Marie Curie, sign up to the Virtual Great North Run and run 13.1 miles wherever you are.

“Runners can download the app to listen to audio clips from the day so you feel like you’re running the route. From the iconic roar of the Red Arrows fly-past to the OGGY OGGY OGGY chants. We might not be at the start line together or be able to cheer you in at the end but we are all in this together and we can all be local heroes!

Tammy Cook’s Father, Jim, died of cancer at home in March 2018 having been supported and cared for by Marie Curie Nurses. In place of the Great North Run, Tammy, from Durham, is now running 40 runs for the 40 years of the Great North Run. The final run will be on 13th September which is both the date the Great North Run was due to take place but also Tammy’s 44th birthday.

Tammy said: “During my Dad’s illness the support of Marie Curie Nurses was amazing. They helped my Mam in so many ways but the most important part was supporting my Mam to keep my Dad at home until he died. This was very important to the family and without the support of Marie Curie, it would have been very difficult for my Mam.

“I have now committed to a new running challenge. Not only will I run 40 times but my final 44th birthday run will be 13.1 miles to make the challenge totally worth every donation you lovely people are giving me!”

Peter Chamley and a group of 21 friends and family are running in memory of Peter’s wife, Linda, who died in the Newcastle Hospice on 17th December 2019. The group have been running in the 13 weeks prior to the original Great North Run date and have committed to running ten miles per week.

Peter said: “Linda’s last 12 days were spent in the Marie Curie Hospice and whilst there she was given the very best of care. During this time the family and I also received fantastic help and support from all the staff and it made us realise what an important charity Marie Curie is.

“It is a measure of the love people had for Linda that a large number of friends from around the country decided to join me, and my sons Chris and Ben, in participating in the run. Many of these friends are not runners and taking part in the Great North Run was going to be a huge undertaking for them. There was never a doubt that we would still get together to raise money for Marie Curie in memory of Linda, once the run was cancelled.”

Alison Guadagno died in the Newcastle hospice in 2019, inspiring the team behind ‘Ali G’s Cappuccino Crew’. The group of friends have run together for many years and completed multiple Great North Runs together in their famous Incredibles costumes. Following the cancellation of this year’s run, the team set themselves a much tougher challenge to raise money for the Marie Curie hospice, in memory of Alison.

Nichola Conlon said: “Our challenge is to run 13miles in one day every week for the next 10 weeks before we all don our Incredibles suits and run together on Great North Run day. Obviously running one-half marathon wasn’t quite challenging enough!

“We are very grateful that Ali such received outstanding care in The Marie Curie hospice in Newcastle. The calm and tranquil setting helped to create a feeling of warmth and homeliness for the final farewells. The pandemic has meant that charities are facing difficult times, so we want to make sure the Marie Curie hospice can continue to provide the same first-class care for its patients and their families.”

Sign up to the Virtual Great North Run and create a Just Giving page to get friends and family to support you every step of the way.

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