Brother of Stevenage doctor killed in Afghanistan takes on race challenge in her memory
PUBLISHED: 07:03 12 July 2019
The brother of a doctor killed by Taliban while delivering aid in Afghanistan has completed the first of three half marathons in her memory.
Karen Woo, who grew up in Stevenage and attended The Barclay School, was shot dead in August 2010 while on a trip with medical charity International Assistance Mission to reach villagers desperately in need of medical help.
She was killed along with nine others of the mostly American team, two weeks before she was due to get married.
Her brother David ran the Leamington Spa Half Marathon on Sunday in her memory, and is set to take part in the Kenilworth Half Marathon in September and the Rugby Half Marathon in October.
He is raising money for the Karen Woo Foundation - a grant-giving charity set up in his 36-year-old sister's name. The cause focuses on providing healthcare and education in Afghanistan, particularly for women and children.
David said: "Karen was killed in Afghanistan while working to improve healthcare by increasing access, particularly for women, and the charity aims to continue her work.
"Karen never shied away from a challenge and I have set myself the goal of completing these three half marathons in a total time of less than six hours.
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"If you're in the area please come and cheer me on."
David completed the Leamington Spa course in one hour 49 minutes, so is on target to achieve his goal.
Over the years, the Karen Woo Foundation has given lots of grants to causes including HealthProm - to help improve maternal health and safer deliveries, and War Child UK - to help improve access to early years education for 540 vulnerable and marginalised four and five years olds.
But in October last year Karen's mum, Lynn, who lives in Stevenage, told the Comet more fundraising is needed to ensure the foundation survives.
She said: "What inspire us to go on is that we see positives arising from the various projects we have been able to support.
"This support can only go on as long as there are people willing to donate."
To support the KWF, through time or money, email email@example.com.
To support David's fundraising challenge, you can donate via justgiving.com/fundraising/David-Woo