Marathon couple complete gruelling challenge to raise money in memory of tot

A HITCHIN couple have completed a gruelling marathon challenge to raise money into researching a condition which sadly killed their friends’ daughter when she was just two-years-old.

Chris and Michelle Stokes, who live in Coleridge Road, Hitchin, took part in the Farnham Marathon and Half Marathon, recording times of four hours 22 mins and two hours respectively.

The couple were part of a team of 55 who were raising money in memory of two-year-old Esme, who died last summer from Haemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis.

The tot, whose parents live in London, went through chemo conditioning and a bone marrow transplant, but sadly lost her battle last July.

Chris, who has taken part in the London Marathon once, told The Comet: “We both have children, so we wanted to do what we could for Esme.

“There was a mixture of friends and family taking part, all of different levels of ability. The point was to raise as much money as possible.”

All money raised by the group is to go to the Histiocytosis Research Trust, which is working to evolve understanding of the disease.

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The race, which was held in Farnham, Surrey, was different to the more traditional road-running marathon in the sense it was a cross-country style run.

“It was a really hard race, hard graft,” added Chris. “It was all for a good cause though and we had a good day.”

The couple have so far raised more than �1,700 for charity, with the 55 fundraisers in total raising �60,000.

To sponsor Michelle and Chris, visit