On Sunday 23rd April, Hughenden residents, Martin and Paula Sweeney will be taking part in the iconic London Marathon in memory of their daughter Chloe, who was stillborn 21 years ago.
“Our thought was to run a mile for each birthday missed and a few extra for good luck. Chloe may not have lived but she was still a person and she’s still significant.
Running the marathon gives us an opportunity to devote time to our daughter through the training and doing the marathon itself.”
2017 is a particularly special year for the couple because it also sees them celebrate their 50th birthdays and 25th wedding anniversary. By doing the 26 mile challenge they hope to raise £21,000 for local charity, Child Bereavement UK, which supported them after the death of their daughter. Paula said:
“Martin and I have been together for 30 years and married for 25, and we both agree that the main reason we’re still together and have a strong relationship is because we were supported by Child Bereavement UK. They taught us how to live without Chloe. The pain when your child dies is not just emotional, it’s physical too. (Paula and Martin, pictured right, 21 years ago after Chloe’s death)
I didn’t understand how I continued to wake up each morning, why my body didn’t just die when it had to cope with so much pain. The work Child Bereavement UK does is vital and because we know the power it can have in helping a family, it’s important for us to make sure everyone else knows it too. Admittedly there are easier ways to show your support than by running a marathon, but we’re really looking forward to it!”
They are well on their way to reaching their fundraising target too, having held a variety of events, most recently a football tournament, and have been thrilled with the level of support they have received from individuals and businesses within the local community. Martin said:
“We’ve had some great responses from people, especially when wearing our Child Bereavement UK running vests. I popped in to see a family member at work the other day and a chap I didn’t even know said he’d seen me running an hour or two beforehand, took a £20 note out of his wallet and gave it to me. The world really is full of wonderful people and we’re so pleased to be running for Child Bereavement UK.”
If you would like to show your support for Martin and Paula please visit their fundraising page: http://bit.ly/2o9uD65
Alternatively, if you would like to be part of the Child Bereavement UK cheer squad at this year’s London Marathon, please contact Becky on 01494 568 932.
Notes for Editors
Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement. Every year we train over 8,000 professionals, helping them to better understand and meet he needs of bereaved families.
Press Enquiries: Ruth Sanger
Tel: 01494 568 932