Many of you have supported me through my many marathon runs, and even my successful climb up Mount Kilimanjaro in 2010 and my trek through the intense Sahara desert with my NLH team.
So it should come as no surprise that I am on the move again for a new challenge - a half marathon in beautiful Sofia, Bulgaria this October. This will be my 93rd half marathon altogether!
Like all my challenges I will be doing this in memory of my wife, Anna Attridge, who sadly died on 22nd February 2006, age 48, after eight months with terminal Pancreatic Cancer. Anna was an incredible lady, who never complained or moaned.
The reason I chose North London Hospice again as my charity, is because of the support and care given in looking after Anna during the last two weeks of her life, as well as the prior care that they provided.
North London Hospice is very much about life and making the most of the time left and I want to share with you an example of this. During my wife's stay at the Hospice, despite her deterioration, her love of walking continued. Each and every day whilst at the Hospice she and I would walk for an hour. On the day before she dies I could see how ill she was but despite my protests Anna insisted that we go out for a walk and made me walk further than usual, and as we had done all along we talked, laughed, cried and made the most of the time we had left. It was very special and the Hospice provided love and care in a safe environment that became a home from home.
I saw first-hand how caring staff are and supportive of all the patient's family and friends. It certainly opened my eyes to the fact that Hospices are essential to the community. North London Hospice provide specialist palliative care and what surprised me is that the services are free, all with very little NHS funding.
Since 2007 I have been a volunteer in the Inpatient Unit at Finchley, and I also help out at the Day Services Centre in Enfield since it opened in 2012. I help out in many ways - I see the difference just holding someone's hand can make, reading to them or taking them out for a walk, even if it's in a wheelchair, it really does lift them: you can see it in their faces. Whatever I do at the Hospice, it really is a privilege to be able to help and support the patients, their family and their friends at what can be a very difficult time.
So I would like to ask you to please support me so that terminally ill patients, like Anna, can be looked after and benefit from the care and support my wife enjoyed. The donations they receive will make patients more comfortable and help them in their hours of need.
Through JustGiving, you can sponsor me and donations will be quickly processed and passed to charities. I really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.
Many, many thanks for your continued support.