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Devoted daughter to run London Marathon for mum
Laura James' parents took her to watch the London Marathon as a child and her mum Gillian was so proud when Laura signed up for the 26.2 mile run last year; something she had always said she would do before she was 30.
Gill was sadly diagnosed with stage four endometrial cancer in Jan 2018, which meant Laura put her marathon dreams on hold to spend time with her mum.
Gill, who worked as a Teaching Assistant at Dame Tipping School for the last 20 years, until she retired in the summer of 2017, was admitted to the inpatient unit on June 30 2018.
Laura and her Dad Kevin were able to spend quality time with Gill and were by her side when she passed away on July 31 last year after her 6-month battle with cancer.
On Sunday, April 28, Laura will be running the London Marathon in memory of her mum so more patients can benefit from our specialist end of life care and support services.
"Mum had been to visit others in the Hospice before and was adamant she wanted to come here," said Laura, who lives in Harold Wood.
"Me and my dad were pleasantly surprised by the gardens and the atmosphere.
"It never felt morbid.
"We do not look upon it as an upsetting time; it was a lovely time.
"My Mum celebrated her 65th birthday at the Hospice.
"We used to sit outside in the gardens and we watched the World Cup and Wimbledon.
"A friend even brought in afternoon tea one day for everyone on the ward."
The marathon is a huge challenge for Laura but she is motivated by her fundraising for the Hospice and is looking forward to the day with nervous excitement.
"I am not a runner at all, I really hate running," said Laura.
"For me, it is about the event; It is iconic and such an achievement".
"My family and I will be forever grateful for the care my Mum received and all of the support provided to us by the doctors, nurses, support staff and everyone at the Hospice.
"They became our family for a whole month.
"They helped us through so many things and the Hospice will always hold a very special place in our hearts."
To sponsor Laura, click here to visit her fundraising page and help her smash her target.
Top Right: Gill with Laura and her husband Kevin, along with her great niece and nephews Corey, Maya, Matt, Tyler and Lisa
Left: Laura with her Mum in Porthcawl, South Wales
Bottom Right: Laura and her Dad Kevin on the inpatient unit with Staff Nurses Poppy and Karen
Bottom Centre: Laura after completing a 20 mile run on March 30th