A Leighton Buzzard mum is running her very first London Marathon in memory of her special friend who lost his fight with cancer.
Katie King, 34, will be taking on the 26-mile run on Sunday, April 28, after finally winning a place when she was “fourth time lucky” in its ballot.
The mum-of-three and fitness instructor is hoping to raise £500 for Willen Hospice, as the Milton Keynes charity cared for her friend Tim Gross during the final days of his battle with oropharyngeal cancer. Katie said: “Tim was diagnosed with cancer around Christmas 2013. Initially it was getting better, but then it came back and he ended up in Willen Hospice.
“He wanted to come home because it was the end, and Willen made that possible.
“Since then, I have wanted to run the London Marathon for them, but obviously it’s a nightmare to get a place.”
Katie and Tim were family friends and when he died in April 2015, aged 54, the bathroom and kitchen fitter left behind his wife, Lucy, his three grown up children, and three young children he had with Lucy: Harry, Charlotte and Lizzie.
Katie said: “Tim was the life and soul of the party. When someone passes away, people always say ‘oh they were so nice’, but honestly, no-one had a bad word to say about him. He helped me through a lot of stuff.”
Lucy said: “Willen Hospice supported us enormously with Tim as an in-patient and then for the last four weeks of his life their community team supported me to look after him at home. I know he would be delighted that Katie is doing this in his memory.”
As well as completing her training with the Redway Runners club, MK, Katie is organising a fitness fundraiser on March 2 at 3pm in Brooklands Middle School.
For 90 minutes you can enjoy five classes: Zumba with Lucy Andrews, Turn it up with Sarah Baker, Jazzercise with Keri Donnellan, Line Dancing with Kath Senior, and Pure Garage Fitness with Katie.
There will also be Lego, craft stations, bird feeder making and temporary tattoos for children, as well as cake and refreshments. There will be a raffle for the public, too; its biggest prize is a £100 Rising Phoenix tattoo voucher.
Tickets are £8. Contact:firstname.lastname@example.org