Losing both her parents to cancer inspired Carole Loader to start taking on epic challenges to raise money that would make a difference to local cancer services. In 2010, Carole chose to fundraise for our Jigsaw Appeal which saw a brand new cancer unit built on our Royal Bournemouth Hospital site.
A keen long distance runner, Carole ran five marathons in two months and raised £1,050 for the Jigsaw Appeal. Carole raised the bar for her next challenge and in 2012 ran a total of 20 marathons, raising £4,701.
“My motivation comes from the fact that I have had first-hand experience of the devastation cancer causes, and I love the fact that I can take part in a sport that I thoroughly enjoy whilst helping others as they go through a very traumatic time in their lives.” – Carole Loader
Since 2010, Carole has attempted to complete a fundraising ‘mega challenge’ for University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity every two years, including running Coast to Coast (200 miles in seven days) with her friends Pat and Claire, raising £2861.
In 2018 Carole devised a plan to run a 450km ‘sandwich’ which would see her run four 100km races with a 50km race in the middle, over a period of five months.
“I’m not someone who can just sit back and wait for people to post donations to my fundraising page. I had to keep going bigger every time I set myself a challenge. These days, you rarely just get ‘sponsored’, especially if you’re doing something you absolutely adore like I do with running, regardless of the mega distances. You have to be prepared to go the extra mile and think outside the box” – Carole Loader
Just before Carole started her 450km ‘sandwich’ challenge, she broke her toe and had to wear a boot for six weeks, meaning the race plan was thrown out of the window. Once recovered, Carole eased herself in with the 50km race and then completed two of the 100km races. But, again, injury struck and damage to her achillies tendon meant the races were postponed until much later. The challenge took her 18 months to complete instead of the planned five.
Carole has also raised additional funds for us by, among other things, growing and selling plants and holding bake sales. Carole then had the idea of sewing and selling blankets to other members of the huge running community to which she belongs. She made blankets out of old race t-shirts, backed them with fleece and sold them back to their owners. This has so far raised an incredible £5,000. Carole’s blankets have proven so popular that she has made almost 250 so far and will continue to make more as the orders keep coming in!
“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years in my mad quests. My husband John has been fantastic throughout, never stopping me when I come up with new ideas but being the sensible head, making sure I’ve not bitten off more than I can chew. Whilst I can still run and come up with crazy ideas, I’ll definitely still fundraise, as far as I’m concerned, anything I can raise, no matter how much, will benefit someone, in some way, going through cancer treatment.” – Carole Loader
So far, Carole has raised an astonishing total of £17,177 for cancer services at University Hospital Dorset.