Date published: Thursday 11th April 2019 | 13:44 GMT
Danielle is taking on London Marathon on Team St Clare in memory of her beloved cousin and grandad…
A local granddaughter and loving cousin, Danielle Corrigan (21, from Greensted, Ongar, Essex), will this year run the London Marathon 2019 on Sunday 28th April in memory of two family members who both died in the care of St Clare Hospice.
Danielle will join 11 other runners on Team St Clare, who are all raising vital funding for St Clare through sponsorship donations for running the challenging 26.2 mile race through the UK’s capital. This year, their fundraising targets total at approximately £15,000 – funding that will help to ensure St Clare can continue developing their care and support for local people facing a life-limiting illness, and their families, in the West Essex and East Herts area.
“In March 2013, as a family we were told most possibly the worst news in the world,” explains Danielle, just weeks before the London Marathon is set to take place.
“My 19 year old cousin, Charlotte, had been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer, which later spread to other organs. A few months prior to this heart-breaking news, my Grandad was also diagnosed with Mesothelioma, another incurable disease.”
“St Clare Hospice supported us all: when our world came crashing down; when the days seemed so dark,” Danielle says. “The doctors and nurses stuck by both their sides right until the very end, making them comfortable and allowing us to create unforgettable, lasting memories. St Clare provided the most amazing love, care and support, not only to Charlotte and Grandad, but to all of us as a family. And they continue to do so.”
On 25th June 2014, Charlotte died at St Clare Hospice as one of the youngest patients to stay on their Inpatient Unit. Just weeks after, beloved Grandad, Maurice Oak, also died on 17th July 2014. “It was the most heartbreaking and emotional time for us all,” Danielle recalls. “But the peaceful and tranquil environment, and the kind, compassionate staff who work in the Hospice, certainly helped us through the darkest days.”
“It was the care that we all experienced at St Clare Hospice that made me want to give back and run the London Marathon,” Danielle explained.
“In January 2019, I turned 21. In honour of Charlotte, who grew her angel wings two months prior to her 21st birthday, I thought it would be a good idea to challenge myself, put pressure on myself, test myself, raise money for such a wonderful cause and make her and my family proud. I want to make a difference in my 21st year. I want to raise money for such a wonderful charity and raise awareness for the incredible care and support that St Clare offer to local people.”
As a first-time London Marathon runner, Danielle has been training for months to prepare for the big day. “The furthest I’ve run so far is 15 miles,” Danielle says. “And I will be gradually upping this over the next couple of weeks. I feel as though I am on track and running at a steady pace, though!”
“But I’d be lying if I said it was easy. I’ve been training in all weather conditions – snow, rain, wind and even 30C whilst on my Christmas holiday! Luckily, a few of my friends have also decided to do the London Marathon this year, so it’s been great training alongside them.”
“Emotionally and physically, this challenge has been extremely demanding. However, I often reflect on the pain that both Charlotte and Grandad went through and this is what spurs me on to continue. It makes me realise how lucky I am,” Danielle reflects.
Now, at just under £500 from her fundraising target of £2,500, Danielle is appealing for local people to sponsor her to help raise vital funding for St Clare Hospice.
“The fact that all of my funds raised by completing this challenge will go towards this extraordinary charity makes all the training, miles, sweat and tears worthwhile. It’s an incredible feeling knowing that I am being able to give something back.”
Danielle added, “I am full of mixed emotions ahead of the big day, but I can’t wait to run in memory of the two most loving people in the world.”
You can sponsor Danielle and make a donation to St Clare Hospice at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DanielleCorrigan
There’s still time to join Team St Clare!
If you are running the London Marathon 2019, there’s still time to join Team St Clare to help raise sponsorship for this local charity – every penny counts. Contact St Clare’s Challenges & Events Fundraiser, Emma Broadbent, at 01279 773754 or email firstname.lastname@example.org