A pre-pandemic Mums vs Girls football match spurred Catherine Gaughan on to get active – now, she’s completed a marathon and raised more than £1,000 for St Catherine’s Hospice.
Catherine, a mum-of-three from Penwortham, started running in January 2020 and decided to use her new-found hobby to give back to the charity which helped her family, and which taught her about palliative and end-of-life care when she was a student nurse.
“My father John Hanby was an inpatient at the hospice in 2005 for a couple of weeks, where he sadly died from stomach cancer,” Catherine said. “The care he received was amazing; I still remember him now telling me how the chef would come and ask him each day what he’d like to eat. The nurses provided personal, patient-centred care and it made my father’s last days of his life very peaceful and pain-free.
“I also did a placement as a student nurse at St Catherine’s for four weeks back in 2001. I worked alongside the wonderful staff and saw first-hand how incredible the care provided is. I was thrilled to be able to raise such an amazing amount for them all these years later.”
Catherine, 43, who now works as a community nurse in Bolton, decided to set herself the challenge of completing the Manchester Marathon this year, after taking up running at the start of 2020.
“I played a Mums vs Girls football match around Christmas 2019,” she explains. “Until then I always thought I was fit, but during the game I realised I wasn’t! So I ran every day that January, first of all short distances such as 2km, and by the end of the month I had built up to 5km. So I kept running and kept increasing my distance.
“I trained hard for the marathon and went out running four times a week. On the day I was very nervous but knew I had the determination to finish, especially as so many people had sponsored me.
“I was pleased to complete my marathon in four hours and eighteen minutes, and I continue to run three times a week.”
Emily Carpenter, community engagement officer at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “I’d like to say thank you and congratulations to Catherine for this amazing achievement. She has raised a fantastic amount for our charity, which will really help us as we care for people with life-shortening illnesses at the hospice and in patients’ own homes, and provide emotional and bereavement support to local families.”
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