'We will always be thankful' - London Marathon runner fundraising for hospice

Katie Howard

Katie Howard from Hitchin is set to take on the London Marathon in aid of Garden House Hospice Care, and in memory of her boyfriend's dad Gary. - Credit: Courtesy of Katie Howard

A hospice hero is set to take on the London Marathon in memory of her boyfriend's dad, who was looked after by the Garden House Hospice Care team.

Next week, thousands of applicants will find out if they have been given the golden ticket to take part in the next London Marathon.

marathon runner katie howard

Katie Howard will run the London Marathon to raise money for Letchworth-based Garden House Hospice Care. - Credit: Courtesy of Katie Howard

Katie Howard, 28, from Hitchin is conquering the course for the local charity that’s close to her heart.

Having completed a maximum distance of a half marathon in the past, this will be a huge challenge for her.

Katie said: “Garden House Hospice Care has always been very special to me, it’s so important to many people in the local community and I am honoured to be part of the team and running for them to make a difference.

“In 2018 my boyfriend’s dad, Gary Pilsworth, was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour.

"After only a few short months of treatment our family found ourselves in turbulent times and in need of the very special and kind support of Garden House Hospice Care.

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"Gary, who ran and owned Offley Stores, wanted to stay at home with his family by his side. The hospice team came in every day to make sure he was as comfortable and as cared for as possible, they also provided such incredible support to the whole family in the weeks leading up to Gary’s death and in the months following.

"We will always be thankful for the care and compassion they showed.“

Katie has been training for the London Marathon for over a year now. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her place was deferred from 2020 and she will be now taking part on her 29th birthday this October.

Katie continued: “Training through lockdowns and the pandemic has been tough, but by reminding myself what I am training for and why I am running for such a special cause has given me the motivation I need.

"The hospice fundraising and events team have been great with providing me support and encouragement and keeping me updated throughout, it really is a great organisation to be part of and I cannot wait to run the route in my blue t-shirt representing this local charity.

“Garden House Hospice Care needs the help and support from the community now more than ever before. When I heard that they are losing over £25,000 a week due to the  pandemic it made me even more determined to run 26 miles for them and raise as much money as I can.

"If you are lucky enough to have a ballot place, please come and join the hospice team.”

Richard Harbon, head of events at the hospice, said: “It’s with thanks to the support of people like Katie that we can continue to care for families in our community.

"The London Marathon is a world class event, if you’re lucky enough to get a place in the ballot, please consider running for our world class charity, where every mile really does make a difference to the lives of local people.”

If you’re a holder of a ballot place and would like to run for Garden House Hospice Care, contact Richard.harbon@ghhospicecare.org.uk or call 01462 679540.

To support Katie through sponsorship, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Katie-Anne-Howard.

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