Laura is going the extra mile in April for St Christopher’s and her sister

We’re delighted to introduce one of our intrepid Virgin Money London Marathon runners – Laura Keeler

Laura has bravely signed up to run a gruelling 26 miles in support of St Christopher’s. The hospice is close to her heart as her younger sister, Josie, attends the Young Adults Group at St Christopher’s on Saturdays. Josie suffers with Cockayne Syndrome, a rare genetic life-shortening condition that is characterised by premature ageing.

Laura says: “My sister really enjoys going to the Young Adults Group. She loves meeting her friends, taking part in the art activities and getting her nails painted – she’s quite a girly girl. I want to raise money for St Christopher’s to support this programme and make sure it keeps going. It seems that as soon as people turn 18, all support stops, so this service is vital for my sister and other young people like her.”

Laura has always enjoyed running but is most comfortable with around six miles. She says: “I did a 10k run about three years ago in support of Make-A-Wish for Josie. But I’ve certainly never considered running a marathon before – it’s going to be tough.”

Laura’s been training hard to get herself ready for the challenge. As well as running with the Petts Wood runners on a Tuesday night, she’s been fitting in long runs at the weekend. And a few times, after a hard day’s work teaching maths at a local secondary school, she even runs the 11 miles home. When we spoke to her, she was getting ready to run the Dartford Half Marathon on Sunday 13 March.

Laura first became aware of St Christopher’s at the Make-a-Wish 10k run, where she saw lots of runners wearing St Christopher’s bibs. But she hadn’t visited the hospice until a few weeks ago when we held a ‘meet and greet’ for all our wonderful marathon runners.

Laura says: “I didn’t really have any expectations before the visit but I was astounded by how focused on the individual everything is. People can eat what they want, when they want and family are welcome to stay. It’s really considerate of people’s needs – they’ve thought of everything to make it as easy as possible for the families.”

Laura’s hoping to raise around £2,000 and is already almost half way there. If you would like to support her on 24 April, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/laurakeeler or search for Laura Keeler on the Virgin Money giving website at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving/

Good luck, Laura – we’ll be thinking of you every step of the way!

We’d like to thank all our amazing runners in St Christopher’s Marathon Team. If you already have a marathon place and would like to run for us, please contact Leo Thon at l.thon@stchristophers.org.uk or call 020 8768 4575