"When the going gets tough, I think of what Sue Ryder patients and their families are going through."

Later this month Lee Cook will be joining a crew of #TeamIncredible runners taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon - after 20 years of entering the ballot! - in support of our Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice.

London Marathon runner Lee Cook with his two daughters

When I found out that I had a place running in the London Marathon, I was over the moon! To get into the event, after so many years of wanting to do it and trying, is one thing, but to be doing it for such an amazing charity too is another. I couldn’t wait to tell everyone. I am so happy and proud to be part of the Team Incredible.

My good friend’s Mum, Jill Higgins, was treated at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice and looked after incredibly well in her final days. Her son told me how all the staff went above and beyond to make all of the family as comfortable as possible.

I hope to raise as much as I can for the hospice, but as a minimum I would love to reach £2,000. I hope this will keep the hospice going and go some way towards funding some of the treatments and wonderful staff at the hospice, so they can continue their high level of care in people’s time of need.

Upping the distance by one mile a week

I've been training since last October to get London Marathon ready. It'll be my fifth marathon, but his first one in the capital city.

Running regularly and upping the distance one mile a week, I am working my way up to cover the Marathon distance. My aim is to get around safely and to enjoy the day and the occasion as much as possible.

Sometimes the going gets tough, but when it does the thoughts of what the patients and their families are going through, and how hard the Sue Ryder Nurses, and care and support staff are working, makes all the pain of running not seem too bad.

Preparations are a real family and friends affair. My wife is a Sports Therapist so has been giving me lots of tips on how to stay injury free and how to strengthen parts of my body. My family are all very happy I’m doing the London Marathon and that I am doing it for such a worthwhile cause.

I’ve a young family, with two daughters aged two and eight, so I’m not sure if they will be there on the day but I’ll have friends with me watching and cheering me on.

Incredible fundraising support

When I'm not training, I'm working hard to raise vital funds for my fundraising goal. The Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice fundraising team has been incredibly supportive, and are always on the end of the phone to talk through my ideas.

I have also had some incredible support from the one of the three sons of the lady I’m raising money in memory of, Matthew. He and his mum were incredibly close and Matthew has backed me all the way with raising money for his mum and the care she was given.

Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice is such a beautiful building in lovely surroundings, and I will be forever grateful for the support they showed my friend, his mum and their entire family. It means a lot to me to be able to run on behalf of them all.

Support Lee - or join Team Incredible next year

You can donate to Lee’s London Marathon cause via his JustGiving page.

If Lee’s story has left you feeling inspired to take on London Marathon 2020, why not register your interest to be part of Team Incredible now by emailing leckhampton.events@sueryder.org?

Author

Lee Cook

London Marathon runner

Lee Cook

Lee is running the Virgin Money London Marathon in support of Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, where family friend Jill was cared for.