George’s Ultimate 100K Marathon Challenge
George sadly lost his father when he was only nine years old. The family chose to spend their last few days together at St Andrew’s Hospice. George received bereavement support from the Wellbeing team at our hospice, and was a part of the Tiger Group – a group of young children also coming to terms with the loss of a loved one. Now, as a young adult, George has decided to challenge himself to the Ultimate 100K Marathon Challenge, in aid of St Andrew’s Hospice to raise awareness of the support available to local people. George speaks below about why he chose this challenge, and how the hospice helped him understand what he was going through at such a terrible time in his life.
“I have decided to take on the Ultimate 100k marathon challenge in aid of St. Andrew’s Hospice as they were incredible and invaluable to me at very significant time in my life. They were a great support for me, my mum, and my dad.”
“I’ve never really forgotten the support we all received. It’s lived with me for all my life. I was only nine when my dad passed away in 2007 at St Andrew’s Hospice. So I was really quite young.”
“As you grow up, you almost appreciate the value of that experience and how the hospice helped, and opening my mind to what I was going through. I knew I wanted to raise funds for the hospice because of what they gave to me, but also to assist with supporting all the other kids going through the same thing. If my fundraiser can help other kids in the same situation, then why not?”
“I’m really excited to prove to myself that I can do it, and to see how far I can push myself. It’ll be an incredible achievement to complete the marathon as I’ve never done anything like this. I hope other people will look at that and go – ‘If he’s done that, why can’t I?’”
“If it’s just one person looks at this and goes – ‘I’ll do something for St Andrews as well’ – then I’ve done something good. On top of raising the money I’m already raising.”
“I remember my dad going into the hospice on numerous occasions before he passed away. Everyone was incredible, not just with the work they did caring for my dad, but everyone was always so thoughtful. They would always have a chat with me and see how I was getting on. It’s a lot more than just somewhere you go to die: it’s almost like a family, they were a real life line for me and my family.”
“After my dad passed away, I joined the ‘Tigers group’ which was a bereavement support group for children around a similar age to me. I remember feeling quite angry at the time. I’d felt like the world had betrayed me. When a boy loses his father, you can respond very badly and it can lead to much greater problems if you don’t address the situation.”
“I’m still learning to cope with it now. It’s not something that goes away, but without the initial support from St Andrew’s Hospice, I do think I’d have found it so much more difficult.”
“Joining the group when I was nine made me realise that I wasn’t alone in the situation. Grief isn’t something you can really understand unless you’ve actually gone through it.”
Support George in his Challenge: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/george-mann
Find out more about fundraising here.