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From Saint Francis to the start line

Community Fundraiser at the hospice, Charlotte Oxby, is ticking her latest challenge off the bucket-list in the iconic race across the capital!
Charlotte Oxby (cropped)

Charlotte Oxby is going the extra distance in her latest challenge, the London Marathon. She is set to run the 26.2 mile stretch in support of Saint Francis Hospice, a charity close to her family's heart.

After being diagnosed with cancer at only 21 in 2015, Charlotte's younger brother Cameron spent ten days at the hospice before he passed away.

The care and support Cameron received encouraged Charlotte, 30, to get involved in the hospice where she is now a community fundraiser.

"The hospice provided a great sense of relief for my mum and as a family we've been supported massively and that's why I wanted to get involved," said Charlotte, who lives in Romford.

 Charlotte memory tree

Charlotte with the hospice's memory tree where her brother has a leaf 

Charlotte's Nan also received great support before losing her battle with cancer in 2015.

Her mum Julie receives counselling for bereavement from the hospice and attends social groups where she's made great friends who she meets up with regularly.

"Often when it's your family you don't want to upset them, so I think it's good for her to have an outlet. It's given her a new community and new people to speak to."

Thrill seeker Charlotte is certainly up for the challenge, with Kilimanjaro already under her belt and Mount Everest next on her list, she's determined to sprint ahead.

"I've done charity 5ks, I love exercise, and I loved training for Kilimanjaro, but I've never done this kind of distance before. I'm nervous and excited to tick it off the bucket list.

"I'm really strict with myself so if I don't complete it in less than four and a half hours I will want to do it again."

Charlotte memory tree

Charlotte at the London Marathon evening

"It means a lot to be able to run for the hospice and I think it will be quite emotional seeing all of the hospice members, my friends and family at the side-lines."

Mum of one Charlotte has started off the New Year in training mode after a break over the festive period.

"I try and do two short runs and one long run a week. I do some yoga to avoid injuries, strength training in between and I'm doing the Brentwood half marathon in March."

Charlotte is surprised to not just be enduring, but enjoying her long distance running. She's excited for the fiery atmosphere from the audience where she once spectated from behind the barriers.

"I will rely on the sounds of the crowd to keep me going when I'm finding it tough."

Thousands of fundraisers will pound the streets of the capital on April 22, and Charlotte will be part of #TeamSFH.

"I've always wanted to do the marathon and the satisfaction I will have when I've completed it will be the best feeling."

You can sponsor Charlotte via her JustGiving page...