CLARE BROWN, 43, from Prescot will be pounding the streets of Liverpool on 29 May as she takes part in the Rock and Roll Marathon in memory of her mum, Liz Elms.
For mother of two, Clare, this is the latest in a series of challenges she’s undertaken over the last few years to help raise money for Willowbrook Hospice which looked after Liz during the final few months of her life before she lost her brave battle against cancer in September 2012.
Clare says: “My mum originally went into Willowbrook for a couple of days to get her pain medication under control but as her condition gradually worsened, being at the hospice was the only way to control her pain.
“The hospice was unbelievable. At first I had to persuade my Mum to try it as she thought it would be like a hospital but after the first time she felt so relaxed and happy there. All the staff were amazing and really looked after her and our entire family with dignity, respect and love. I honestly don’t know how we would have got through it without Willowbrook. It was, and still is, the most painful part of my life and having my Mum so well looked after in the hospice and her wanting to be there (she was desperate not to be in hospital) made an awful experience a little bit better.”
Before Liz sadly passed away, one of her dying wishes was that Clare help raise funds to support the work of Willowbrook and as Clare says: “You can’t break a promise to your mum”.
Since then, Clare has taken part in the St Helens 10km and the Cheshire Triathalon – raising more than £5,000 for the hospice – before taking on her toughest challenge, the Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.
Clare continues: “The marathon has definitely been the hardest to train for. The St Helens 10k got me back into fitness, the triathlon whilst hard was enjoyable as it was different events. The marathon however is just relentless running. Due to the sheer amount of training it takes it has literally took over my weekends and when you work full time and have 2 children it’s been really difficult to fit it in but it will be worth it and I know that my mum would be proud of me. From personal experience I realise the difference that the hospice makes – not just to the patients but to their families as well and want to do my bit to ensure that they can carry on doing this.”
Nichola Saunders, Head of Fundraising at Willowbrook says: “The hospice needs to raise over £4 million every year in order to run and develop its services. We depend on the generosity of the communities of St Helens and Knowsley and it’s thanks to people like Clare that we can continue to care for local people and their families. She’s an inspiration!”
To sponsor Clare and help raise money for Willowbrook Hospice, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Clare-Brown20