Mum inspired by her son o take on a 100-mile ultra-marathon challenge for Sheffield Children’s Hospital
Sheffield mum, Julie Bembridge, is in training to run a staggering continuous 100-mile ultra-marathon on Friday 23/ Saturday, July 24, in a bid to raise money for the refurbishment of Ward 6 at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Julie Bembridge is taking on the challenge in July in aid of Ward Six which cares for children and teenagers with cancer and blood disorders – and is where her son Stan has been receiving treatment for the past three years following his leukaemia diagnosis.
Stan, a pupil at Dronfield Henry Fanshaw School was 12 years old when he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukeamia in December 2017, four days before Christmas. As the shock of the diagnosis sank in, Julie – a keen runner – vowed to undertake a challenge of her own and pledged to tackle a continuous 100-mile ultra-marathon once his treatment came to an end.
In March 2021, Stan’s gruelling treatment ended, just a few weeks before his 16th birthday.
True to her promise, Julie has been in intense training since November 2020. She expects to reach up to 15 hours of running each week at the height of her training in preparation for her challenge.
Sheffield Children’s Hospital is one of only three dedicated children’s hospitals in the UK. It’s a centre of excellence and treats children from across the UK. As a result of the Covid-pandemic, The Children’s Hospital Charity has suffered a significant drop of around 35 per cent in donations, that ordinarily would have gone towards the £2.75 million costs required for the refurbishment of the ward.
Freya Kingswood, senior events fundraising assistant at The Children’s Hospital Charity said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has seen major events supporting the cancer and leukaemia ward appeal cancelled or postponed, while traditional ways of showing support including charity balls, bake sales and raffles are no longer possible in times of social distancing.
“Put simply, the less we raise together, the longer patients at Sheffield Children’s Hospital will have to wait for the upgraded environment they deserve. We hope to fully fund the new ward this year, but that will only be possible with help from supporters like Julie.”
Julie hopes that by embarking on the challenge, people will be inspired to make a donation and help raise the vital funds needed for the refurbishment costs.
“In addition to raising vital funds for the hospital, I’m running to honour of all the children treated on the ward and to thank the staff for their care for Stan,” explained Julie. “I’m also running for Stan, who has shown remarkable courage and strength throughout his diagnosis and treatment. I am just so proud of him!”
Julie’s challenge will begin on July 23 and she hopes to complete the run on July 24 – which coincides with her 51st birthday.
Her route will begin and end at the children’s hospital heading out to Dronfield, onto the Chesterfield Round route and then Sheffield Way before heading back to the hospital via Woodseats.
To donate online, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/100milesforstan. You can also follow her training on her Twitter (@100milesforStan) and Facebook (100 Miles for Stan).