12 Jul 2019 Community
Running the extra mile in loving memory of her Dad
On Sunday 28th April, Luanda Rowbottom, from Honley, took on the London Marathon to raise vital funds for Kirkwood Hospice, completing her first ever running event alongside 43,000 other runners! Luanda has also raised an incredible £7,000 for Kirkwood in memory of her Dad, Stuart Hobson.
It all started on a Friday night back in April 2018. Luanda, in a moment of inspiration, decided to enter the ballot for the London Marathon. She never thought that she would ever be offered a place.
Later in the year, out of the blue, Luanda received a letter in the post confirming her place at the event on Sunday 28th April 2019 - the day before her 44th birthday.
Luanda said: “The first thing I did was call my Husband to tell him and he didn’t believe me.”
“I’ve never taken part in a running event before, but there was no hesitation that I would be raising money for Kirkwood to say thank you for all that they did to take care of my Dad and my family.”
Luanda's dad, Stuart, at the seaside
Stuart Hobson was admitted to Kirkwood’s In-Patient Unit in September 2016, 10 weeks after his diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer. Stuart was cared for at the Hospice for 13 days before he sadly died.
Luanda said: “Nothing was ever too much for the staff under difficult circumstances. They were a constant support to me and the rest of my family.”
“My dad was a keen gardener at home and always appreciated the beautiful gardens at Kirkwood. As he got weaker, we used to take him around the gardens in a wheelchair.”
In preparation for the big day, Luanda became a regular sight around the Holme Valley, training relentlessly and pushing herself out of her comfort zone.
Luanda said: “I know my dad was willing me on, he knows I could do it.”
Luanda at the London Marathon finish line with her well-earned medal
Luanda set herself a target to complete the marathon in 7 hours, but her hard work paid off when she sprinted through the finish line at 05:52:51!
“Throughout this whole experience I was scared and asking myself ‘what am I doing’, but I am so proud of what I have achieved and how much I have raised for Kirkwood Hospice.”
“People who know me, know that I am not too good with exercise, but the overwhelming support of my family and friends has kept me going. I just want to thank each and every person that has sponsored, donated, sent messages or even just thought about me.”
Luanda paid a visit to Kirkwood back in June to present her cheque to Kirkwood Chief Executive, Michael Crowther.
Michael and Luanda at Kirkwood
Michael said: “We are so grateful to Luanda for her fantastic donation of £7,000. Donations like this are so precious to us and ensure that the Kirkwood team can continue providing the very best quality of care and quality of life to each and every person who comes in to contact with Kirkwood. “We cannot thank Luanda enough for all that she has done to raise funds and awareness in memory of her Dad.”
Luanda would also like to thank her colleagues at Enterprise Print Ltd. and her friends at the Honley Liberal Club who have supported her in her fundraising journey.
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