Martin hoofs it for hospice

May 07 2019
Martin hoofs it for hospice

A THORNBURY father who lost his daughter to leukaemia completed the London Marathon in her memory, dressed as a giant shoe.

Martin Abrahams’ youngest daughter Jess died when she was only 6 years old and the marathon was the latest in a series of fundraising events he has held in her memory.

The shoe represented the Children’s Hospice South West, which provided vital support to Martin and his family when Jess died. His challenge has so far raised more than £6,600 for the charity and he thanked his “amazing supporters” for helping to reach that figure.

Martin, who was born in Yate and went to Chipping Sodbury School, said: “I think Jess would have loved seeing me in the shoe and I'm sure she would have been proud of the marathon and the fundraising achievements.

The figure raised has really blown me away – my target was £3,000 and I thought that would be challenging, so to more than double it has been astounding.

I want to particularly thank the people of Thornbury, Bradley Stoke, Bristol and employees from the Nationwide Building Society, where we held a successful cake bake raising over £600.”

Martin completed the 26.2 miles in 5 hours 26 minutes and 20 seconds as ‘ShoeperMan’, and says he was treated “like a minor celebrity” as he ran the course. His wife Melissa and daughter Zoe were there to support him on the day.

He said: “I had enough water and jelly babies to get me round, although the sweets tended to come from the generous crowd rather than the organisers! The crowd support was pretty relentless and so needed. The costume meant I was out on the course much longer than I would have been without it, but I wouldn't have had so much fun.”

Martin, 41, and his family live in Thornbury, and were supported by the Charlton Farm Hospice near Bristol, which helped them after they lost Jess, and still supports them by holding bereavement days.

Charlton Farm is one of three hospices run by Children’s Hospice South West, the others are Little Bridge House in Barnstaple and Little Harbour in St Austell. Services are free and mainly paid for through voluntary contributions.

There’s still time to donate via Martin’s JustGiving page.