“I ran a 5k and 10k in one day in memory of my mum”

Helen Daniels, 39, from Bedford, took on two events in one day at Bedfordshire Running Festival, raising more than £1,000 for Sue Ryder St John’s in Moggerhanger. The hospice’s Palliative Care Hub enabled Helen’s mum Elizabeth to spend her final days at home with her family after she was taken ill on Christmas Day last year. Here Helen explains why she plans to keep on running….

Helen with her mum, Elizabeth.
Helen with her mum, Elizabeth. 'The care she received was second to none and allowed her dignity.'

I can't believe how much I have raised! Considering I was carrying an injury it went great. The 5km was so hot but I managed to run it all. In the Twilight 10km I got to 7km and just wanted to walk but strangely, I saw a tiny label on the floor....I think it was off someone's top...and it just said, ‘don't cry’!!! It really stuck in my head for the rest of the race and I’m pleased to say I managed the rest without stopping!

Sue Ryder are simply an amazing organisation. Without them I believe our last few days with Mum would have been very different. Mum was admitted to hospital early Christmas Day morning with suspected pneumonia. After two weeks in hospital she started to deteriorate again and on January 10th we received the news she had cancer that had spread and were told treatment was not an option.

We never spoke about death, but we knew Mum wanted to be at home

The Palliative Care Team talked us through all options. Mum never really liked to talk about death or her wishes, but the one thing we knew was that she wanted to be at home. With help from so many different people we took mum home the next day and soon afterwards the lovely carers from Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice Palliative Care Hub arrived.

Without the Sue Ryder team we would have been lost

The care given to us was amazing and the hospice means so much to us. Sue Ryder allowed my mum to be in the comfort of her own home, with her family around her, as comfortable as she could be. The care she received was second to none and allowed her dignity.

Without everyone involved in the running of Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice and their Palliative Care Hub my Mum would have not been at home for those last few days. They were precious to all members of our family, but especially Dad and I, as we may not have been able to be with her when she passed away on January 16th.

Helen as a child with her mum, Elizabeth
Helen as a child with her mum, Elizabeth.

Everyone should be entitled to this amazing care

Regular fundraising is needed to ensure everyone is offered the outstanding level of care Mum was given, and this has inspired me to start fundraising. I want to make sure as many people as possible are given access to the care my mum received.

That’s why I am keeping up the training for the next one - though I’m not sure what I will take on next!

Helen with a running partner at Bedfordshire Running festival
Helen with a running partner at Bedfordshire Running Festival 2019.

Support St John's Hospice and help them continue to provide specialist care for people with life-limiting conditions.


Helen Daniels

Daughter of patient

Helen Daniels

Helen took part in the Bedfordshire Running Festival 2018 and in this year's event as well, in memory of her mum Elizabeth and to raise funds for her local Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger.