A TV editor who works on popular shows such as America’s Got Talent and Dancing With The Stars has pounded the scorching pavements of Los Angeles to raise funds for the Lancashire hospice which cared for his beloved mother.
James Ralph moved to LA for work in December 2017, shortly after his mum Margaret Ralph, from Clayton Brook, was cared for by St Catherine’s Hospice after being diagnosed with cervical cancer earlier that year.
On March 24, James and his sister Lucy Ralph, who lives in Peru, joined forces to take on the gruelling 26-mile challenge from the Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica to give back to the charity.
They have raised an incredible £4,000 to help fund the specialist palliative and end-of-life care provided by St Catherine’s at the hospice and in people’s own homes.
Dad-of-six James, 48, said: “The care and support we all received from St Catherine’s was so amazing. Mum was cared for with real dignity and respect and her pain was managed expertly by a team who really understand how to care for people with life-shortening illnesses.
“Lucy stayed at the hospice with mum in her room until the end and I also stayed several times during the last few days of her life. Being able to be with her at that time was an unbelievable gift and something I will forever be grateful for.”
He added: “Lucy and I wanted to find a way to honour our mum and give something back to St Catherine’s for looking after her, so we came up with the idea of running a marathon. I ran a half marathon some years ago, but had never taken on something on this scale before.
“I’ve always been active and had thought that one day I should tackle a marathon and see what it would be like, and LA just seemed like an impossibly cool place to take on the challenge!
“It was a truly amazing experience; the route was an amazing tour of LA taking in all the landmarks and neighbourhoods, from China Town to Rodeo Drive and ending by the sea in Santa Monica. I finished in four hours and 24 minutes which I’m quite happy with.”
Hayley Jackson, community engagement officer at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “How remarkable that James and Lucy have fundraised for our Lostock Hall charity from more than 5,000 miles away!
“They have raised a staggering amount for St Catherine’s which we’re incredibly grateful for. We really couldn’t continue to help people facing life-shortening illnesses to experience quality of life to the end of life, without the amazing backing of our supporters, as we have to generate £3.8m of our annual £5.6m running costs every single year.
“James and Lucy have really gone the extra mile for us, and I’d like to send a very big ‘thank you’ all the way across the Atlantic Ocean for their fantastic efforts!”