CRADLED in the arms of Jean Gray is Rafiq Khan who is from Biggleswade and suffers from muscular dystrophy. The 19-month-old attends Keech Cottage Children s Hospice where Jean has worked as the team administrator for the last two years. The trainers in t
CRADLED in the arms of Jean Gray is Rafiq Khan who is from Biggleswade and suffers from muscular dystrophy.
The 19-month-old attends Keech Cottage Children's Hospice where Jean has worked as the team administrator for the last two years.
The trainers in the picture are significant - they are what Jean wears as she prepares to take part in the London Marathon in April.
The hospice, which cares for Herts and Beds children with life-limiting illnesses, already has 13 sponsored runners ready to pound the streets of the capital.
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But as the charity has to raise over 80 per cent of its yearly running costs of nearly £2million, it is still searching for more people to run on its behalf.
"The London Marathon is a significant fundraiser for Keech Cottage and has enabled many local people to achieve a life-long ambition while helping people in our care," said Mark Relf, community fundraiser at the hospice.
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"We'd now love to hear from anyone who has already had their place in this year's marathon confirmed but hasn't yet decided which charity to support."
Jean decided that 2006 was the year she wanted to really go the distance for her employers and chosen charity.
"It is one of the things that I want to achieve in my life," she said. "Sadly, the children that come into Keech don't always get to achieve what they want, so I'm doing this for them and for all our other special friends and children at Keech."
She started her training in October and is now following a weekly schedule that includes gym work, badminton, power walking and doing keep fit classes.
Jean said: "I am a bit apprehensive about the day itself, but I'm not going for some kind of record time and will just be happy to finish it.
"I also have lots of family and friends who are supporting me and sponsoring me and it's good to know they will be there watching and cheering me on."
Anyone who would like to find out more about running for the children's hospice should contact Mark Relf on 01582 497849, or email email@example.com