Going the extra (26) miles

18 Apr 2019

On April 28th, David is taking on his first – and last – marathon, as he joins the thousands of people running the iconic London Marathon.

He is stepping outside his fitness comfort zone to raise money for the Margaret Centre at Whipps Cross Hospital, where his father was treated in his last days.

David says, "My father, Alf, thought the Margaret Centre was wonderful. He was admitted there several times and the amazing care there completely rejuvenated him. He would come out a different person."

David can’t speak highly enough about the quality of the staff there. "Nothing was ever too much trouble, they were always calm and uplifting. I have such admiration and respect for how these people, who were surrounded by grief, could create such a positive atmosphere."

One of his strongest memories was how the staff went the extra mile to help care for his father.

"My dad loved his food," says David. "He tried to get down to the allotment everyday, even as he aged. He helped build a community cooking hub called ‘Alf’s Café’.

"When he went into hospital, we thought he would miss having good meals like that. But when the hospital staff found out about his passion for food, they made him special salads and sandwiches and I thought that really showed how much they cared."

In thanks for how the staff went the extra mile for Alf, David decided to run 26 miles for them. He signed up for the London Marathon, intending for it to be the first and only marathon he will ever run.

"I wanted to make it a real challenge," he says, "to show how committed I am to this cause."

A day as a junior stylist

To help raise some money in the lead-up to the Marathon, David took an unusual approach to fundraising - he dipped into the world of hairdressing. Working with the staff at HOB Salons, David swept the floor, separated foils and was rushed off his feet as the salon's assistant. So far, David has raised over £2000 for Barts Charity.

"My dad would be so proud of what I have achieved. He always had a positive outlook on life and he would have loved that I was doing something like this in memory of him. I had the most amazing childhood with the most amazing parents. My dad was my hero. I got the chance to tell him that before he passed, and I’m so glad I did."

Photos: Alf with a young David and his sister, David's day working at the salon

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