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Hospice supporter limbers up for Chester half marathon

A Manchester mum is set to take on her first ever half marathon to raise funds for John Taylor Hospice.

Samantha Williamson will be running the 13.1-mile route in Chester this Sunday in memory of her father David Davidson.

David was 67 years old when he died from liver cancer in March 2015. He received care from John Taylor teams who helped him to stay at his home in Handsworth Wood.

"Dad always said he didn't want to die in a hospital or a hospice so to be able to fulfil his wishes and get support from John Taylor at home was wonderful," explains Samantha, 45.

"My sister had experience of working in hospices but it was the first time I'd helped care for someone and it could be quite overwhelming and difficult at times. Having the extra help daily from the hospice was invaluable and helped give him the dignified ending at home that he wanted."

To thank the hospice for their care and support, Samantha has set her sights on completing the 36th Chester Half Marathon – one of the UK's longest established 13.1-mile running events.

“I’ve run the odd 5 and 10k charity event here and there over the years but I took up regular running about a year ago,” explains Samantha, who moved from Birmingham to Manchester in 1995. "I started increasing my mileage about three months ago, doing a longer run on a Sunday and a shorter one mid-week and I just plan to run this race at my own steady pace.”

“We hadn't realised how much John Taylor Hospice relied on donations so I'm hoping to raise £250 for them by running the half marathon. My husband Paul and our daughter Emily will be there on the day to cheer me on as I cross the finish line!"

Community Fundraising Manager Darren Dudley said: "We’d like to say a huge thank you to Samantha for supporting us. She is literally going the extra mile to raise vital funds for our hospice!

“We need to raise £570,000 from public donations this year and couldn’t do this without the dedication, enthusiasm and commitment of our fantastic supporters. Best of luck for Sunday Sam and #TeamJTH will be cheering you on.” 

You can show your support for Samantha by visiting her JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Samantha-Williamson6

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