“I might cry that I’ve done it for those I’ve cared for” Sue Ryder Doctor takes on London Marathon in memory of patients and to help us keep caring

A 46 year old Sue Ryder doctor and Cambridge GP will be swapping his scrubs and stethoscope for a running vest and trainers to complete the Virgin Money London Marathon this Sunday 3 October, in memory of patients he's supported and to raise funds for Sue Ryder's expert care.

Dr Nick Green, running out of the Sue Ryder St John's Hospice front entrance

Supporting the families he cares for

Nick Green, who is speciality doctor at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger, Bedfordshire and a GP in Cambridge, will be running in memory of patients he has cared for at the hospice and to raise funds so that Sue Ryder can be there for more families when it matters, providing compassionate palliative, neurological and bereavement care.

Dr Nick, as he is known by his colleagues at Sue Ryder, caught the running bug when taking part in Park Run, then progressed to a 10k race, then a half marathon.

Wanting to raise funds to support the families he cares for, Dr Nick decided to go all in and enter the London Marathon. With the run now just around the corner, Dr Nick hopes the full 26.4 mile course won’t prove a step too far.

“Running has been really good for my mental wellbeing,” shared Dr Nick. “But I have to say the last month has seen the training really increase, so I have found things much harder. Trying to fit the longer runs and combining training with my work at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice and the GP surgery has become a real challenge.

“It has also become more of a mental challenge too. Can I do this? Can I get round?”

“The pandemic has increased pressures and responsibilities for so many people in both their home and professional lives, but we have navigated through it and I am really looking forward to the London Marathon being a real celebration of everything we’ve achieved.

“When people ask me what time I have in mind to complete the marathon in, I say I want to have the best time I can out on the course. I really want to enjoy it.”

“I love that we are able to make a tangible difference to patients and their families”

Dr Nick shares it was his love of working at Sue Ryder, and the care that is given to patients, that inspired him to run and raise funds.

“There are so many things I love about Sue Ryder. I love the team I am part of. And I love the fact that we are able to make a tangible difference to patients and their families. Finally, I love that we can deliver healthcare in the way that it should be delivered. Sue Ryder’s care is truly holistic and very patient-centred.”

When Dr Nick tells people he works in palliative care he often gets the same reaction. “There is often a slight pause, and then they say ‘that must be a really hard job. I don’t think I could do that,” shares Dr Nick.

“My response is to tell them there is a lot more positive things about working in palliative care than you might appreciate. Everyone in the hospice appreciates life can be uncertain, but we try and celebrate life as much as possible. There is probably more laughter in a hospice than you would imagine.

“I also like to tell people that about half the patients we work with actually don’t come in for an end of life admission - they come for a holistic review so we can help improve their symptoms, help improve their quality of life and help them forward plan so they can carry on living.

“I am inspired daily by people who face such challenges with such positivity. Being part of a team doing such a really worthwhile thing is its own reward. It’s an utter privilege to look after each person and their family that comes through our doors at St John’s Hospice.

Training for the London Marathon

Between caring for patients at the Sue Ryder hospice in Bedfordshire, seeing patients at the Cambridge GP Practice and family life, Dr Nick has been squeezing in marathon training at the weekends and in the evenings.

“Huge thanks to my wife Kate and my three daughters who have supported me every step of the way and have given me their blessing to go out running and put all the training in.

“I have covered 22 miles now in one run and my Sue Ryder running jersey is all ready with my name printed on the back. I just need to get out there and give it a go!”

Crossing the finish line

Looking ahead to the day and imagining crossing the finish line, Dr Nick said, “When I cross that finish I think I’ll feel really pleased and relieved to have done it. I might also feel like I need a leg transplant!

“There’s a 50% chance I might cry too - cry that I have actually done it and done it in memory of all those I have helped care for at Sue Ryder.”

“I really hope that after everything we have been through, this year’s London Marathon will be a real celebration of life. We have all been through so much over the past year. I am so grateful to be here and to give it a try.

“I am running this for the hospice and running in memory of the patients I have been honoured to care for.”

Support Dr Nick and help us be there when it matters

Dr Nick hopes to raise £2,000 for Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice and in memory of patients he's supported. He is halfway there already, but you can help him reach his fundraising target and raise vital funds for Sue Ryder to continue providing our expert, compassionate end of life care. 

Donate to Dr Nick's JustGiving page and help fill someone's last days with love

Find more information on Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice, the expert palliative care they provide and ways you can help to support them.

TCS London Marathon 2022

If Dr Nick's marathon story has inspired you to get your running shoes on for Sue Ryder, you can find out more about next year's TCS London Marathon and apply for your place as part of Team Incredible.