A Wetherby couple preparing to run the New York Marathon have smashed their £2,000 fundraising target.
Kirstin Hutton and Matt Booth – both 23 are taking on the 26.2 mile November 4 challenge in aid of Bowel Caner UK and the Macmillan Dales Unit, based at Harrogate District Hospital.
The couple chose to run in memory of Kirstin’s stepfather Willie Nicoll, who was treated for Bowel Cancer at the unit before he passed away last year.
Kirstin is delighted at raising the cash, but says a major part of the project is to raise awarenss of the condition, and urge anyone who recognises the symptoms to see their doctor.
She said: “I have said from day one if we raise just one penny but one person recognsies the symptoms and goes to their doctor, then we will have done our best.
“It is horrible to watch someone you care about so much and admire deteriorate when we didn’t know what was wrong with them.”
Kirstin added: “We are not aware of these things until we are faced with them. I know the Unit will be able to use the money in a positive way, because I saw the service they provide when my stepfather was being treated.”
The couple have been in training for the event for over a year, since Kirstin first suggested it, as a way of setting herself a challenge. She said: “It is our first marathon and it is a big adventure. I have always dreamt of going to New York, and I really wanted to set myself a challenge.
“It is amazing to see the changes as your body becomes able to go further and do more.”
Paula Middlebrook, Lead Cancer Nurse at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are always grateful to the many people who raise money to help people with cancer who are being cared for at Harrogate District Hospital. It is amazing to think of the lengths that people will go to to help us buy extra equipment, or enable staff to go on additional training so that they can provide the highest quality care possible. A big thank you from all the patients, relatives, carers and staff.”
Dani Freedland, Head of Community and Events at Bowel Cancer UK: “We are extremely grateful that Matt and Kirstin are running the New York marathon on our behalf. Not only are they raising vital funds to support our symptom awareness campaign but they too are urging friends and colleagues to visit the doctor for early detection. We wish them every success and look forward to hearing all about it on their return.”
Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/nycmarathonmadness