Polly’s running journey began in September 2014, after watching the Great North Run and persuading some work colleagues to try the following year.
“I was told that none of us could run for a bus let alone a half marathon! So, I started training and the following year we travelled to Newcastle and completed the Great North Run.
My mum was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2016 so I decided to carry on with these challenges, raising money originally for Derby Hospital. I went on to do two 100km continuous walks and completed the Leicester Half Marathon in 2017 on my own and I loved every minute of it.
The Leicester Half Marathon was great. Everyone was so friendly and the encouragement from fellow runners and spectators was unbelievable. When I hit the wall I only had to think about my amazing mum and the fight that she was going through.”
Unfortunately, by this time Polly’s mum’s cancer had spread to her liver and the new treatment she was trialling was no longer beating the cancer.
“Mum was in and out of hospital and was sadly deteriorating but she didn’t once complain. She was so incredibly brave.
My multiple challenges raised funds for lots of different things at Derby Hospital but what I am most proud of is the wedding decorations they bought for the day room. When patients were too poorly to leave hospital but wanted to get married, instead of it being the day room it was turned into a wedding ceremony room.”
In June 2018, Polly’s mum was transferred to St Giles Hospice in Whittington as the cancer had now spread to her brain.
“Mum didn’t want to stay at home and she needed round the clock care. A few weeks prior to this my Dad has suffered a heart attack so he needed to take care of himself too. My Dad and their border terrier, Mitsy, also moved into the Hospice with Mum. The staff at St Giles were angels. They are the kindest and most caring people on this planet. Nothing was ever too much trouble. When the weather was nice they took her bed out to the terrace and they didn’t just look after my Mum, they looked after all of us.
My beautiful Mum took her final breath on 1st July 2018, with us all around her. I knew my Mum treasured me. She suffered from anorexia and was told she would never have children so to be able to have me was a true blessing.
Leicester Half Marathon is important to me as the support is amazing. St Giles Hospice deserve every penny and more for the services and care they provide.”
If Polly’s story has inspired you to Run Leicester, why not sign up here?