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Magnificent 11 are set to go the distance for Dorset hospitals

March 30, 2023

Eleven magnificent marathon runners will be joining 50,000 people on Sunday 23 April to run a marathon for University Hospitals Dorset Charity.

Lisa Basset, Jaicob Crowther, Rachael Crockford, Stewart Cocks, Chris Dear, Abi Griffin, Lucy Oliver, Rosie Smiles and George Wareham are preparing to run around the streets of London in the London Marathon to support the special extras for staff and patients at Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole hospitals.

And Penny Southern and James McCornish have chosen to run the virtual London Marathon on their chosen route of 26.2 miles.

Each runner has their very own motivations and inspiration to get them across the finish line. This is what makes the London Marathon a special event as every person has their own personal reasons for taking part.

Jaicob Crowther has decided to run in aid of the Dorset Cancer Centre. Jaicob has seen friends and family treated there. Both with loved ones making full recoveries to those who are no longer with us. As part of his training he is taking part in the Weymouth Marathon as pre-race day practice.

Chris Dear is keen to thank the NHS, especially the team, at Poole Hospital who made the 36-hour labour a little less traumatic for his wife and daughter, Olivia.

Some of the Trusts very own NHS heroes are also getting their running shoes out to take on the challenge. Director of breast screening, Lisa Bisset is running to raise money for all three hospitals and looking forward to the atmosphere on the day. Senior Radiographer, Rachael Crockford is running and raising money for the new playground at the Children’s Development Centre in Poole and Senior Physiotherapist, Rosie Smiles is running to support her colleagues and our local hospitals.

Lucy Oliver is racing to support the Charity efforts across the Trust and George Wareham is sprinting into action to tick this iconic running event off his bucket list and to support his colleagues and the patients that use our NHS services.

Lucy said; “I’m very excited to run the marathon for UHD Hospital Charity to support them with the big changes and transitions that are happening across the Trust following the merger. The donations have been my biggest motivation and kept me going!”

Rachael Crockford said:” The London Marathon is a very special event for me as it marks the 18th anniversary of my move to the UK. If I manage to complete it, it will also mean that I have finally achieved a goal that I set myself 18 years ago. It’ll certainly be an emotional day in the city that I love so much!”

Penny Southern is fundraising in memory of her parents who both passed away within two years of each other on the Critical Care Unit at Bournemouth Hospital.

Penny said: “In a strange twist of fate the nurse that sat with us when mum passed was the same nurse that had sat with Dad when he passed. The way they looked after mum and then myself and my brother – I can’t begin to tell you how much that meant to us and I can’t think of a worthier cause.”

James McCornish is challenging himself to raise money for the Poole and Bournemouth Intensive Care Unit which saved his life while on a ventilator with covid in October 2021.

James said: “Every week you are on a ventilator you lose 20 per cent muscle mass. I lost three-and-a-half stone and my legs were literally half the size. I had no strength whatsoever. I was determined that this wasn’t going to beat me, and every day kept pushing myself to push that little bit further than the day before.”

“I feel quietly confident as I have put the training in so think, I will be fine. I am also excited as it’s getting closer and my goal that I set nearly 18 months ago is in touch. I guess that is keeping my motivation going.”

After a long and slow recovery, James is determined to do something to help shine a light on the team that saved his life.

Fundraising Officer, Zoe Wood said: “The London Marathon is one of the toughest running events in the UK which puts anybody, however fit they are through their paces. On behalf of everybody at the Charity, good luck for race day and thank you for all your training. We cannot thank you enough for going the distance to support our hospitals.”