John Baalham is running the Brighton Marathon to raise funds for St Luke’s Hospice (Basildon and District)

John is an Insolvency Manager at our Brentwood Office

We’re delighted to report on John Baalham’s story, as he and a friend prepare to run the Brighton Marathon on 10th April 2022 – delayed for 2 years due to Covid-19 – to raise funds for the wonderful St. Luke’s Hospice (Basildon and District).

John takes up the story:

“Well let’s try this all again, shall we……..?! Just shy of a month before Geoff and I were due to run the Brighton Marathon in 2020, the COVID pandemic struck and the entire country went into lockdown and Charity events across the UK stopped overnight.

Fast forward 2 years and hopefully the worst of the Pandemic is now behind us, so we are going for it once again and training is well underway for the big day on 10th April 2022. Charities have been hit very hard by the pandemic. Many are just about hanging on from the kind and generous donations people make up and down the land, so we are pleased to be doing our bit.”

Below is the story behind John’s charity fundraising:

“18 years ago, I lost my brother, Chris, to a very rare form of Cancer called Osteosarcoma. He bravely battled the disease for 5 years but when his time was nearing the end, he was taken into St Luke’s Hospice in Basildon. It was here he saw out his final days under the amazing care of the staff at the Hospice.

He was only 25 years old and as you can imagine he had just about everything life could throw at him, but he never once moaned about his illness, always finding a positive from a negative situation. I will never forget him telling me how grateful he was to be looked after so well by the Hospice and saying “Everybody who needs it should be able to get this level of care.”

Like me he was amazed how little financial support St Luke’s Hospice gets from the Government considering the level of care its patients young and old receive. It relies almost entirely on public generosity and people like me and Geoff fundraising to keep it going.

After Chris passed, I was left feeling confused/ lost/ angry and could not process what had happened. St Luke’s kept in contact with me and provided me with counselling for a few months. It is only now I fully appreciate how important and helpful that was. St Luke’s Hospice continues to help families even after losing their loved ones with these crucial services.

Nobody knows what’s around the corner but if the unthinkable happens, St Luke’s Hospice is there to ensure patients and their families are as comfortable as they could possibly be. However, without people’s continued generosity and fundraising the Hospice will struggle to operate as it does. So please dig deep and donate whatever you can and remember to give us both a toot when you see us out on our training runs.

We both really appreciate everybody’s support.”

You can sponsor John and Geoff through their Just Giving page:

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So, it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.