Marathon walk raises money for the Macmillan Unit

It was a special day to remember a lost loved one for Liz Smart and her two daughters.

For the trio walked a marathon in memory of their husband and father Stuart Smart who died of cancer in 2014.

And five years after his loss they completed the Spires and Steeples Challenge, which runs from Lincoln to Sleaford, in 10 hours and 4 minutes, and at the same time raised money for the My WiSH Charity, which supports the West Suffolk Hospital where the 52-year-old was treated.

Liz, who lives in Barrow and is a nursery nurse on the Rainbow Ward at the hospital, said the three of them came up with idea of taking part in the event as a special mark of thanks for the exemplary care and treatment her husband received on the Macmillan Unit.

The 48-year-old said money raised at Stuart’s funeral went to the hospital but they wanted to raise more so decided to take on the marathon which resulted in them collecting a total of £1,095.44.

The three of them took part in the event on October 13 and prepared for it for six months in advance walking three times a week.

Liz and her 26-year-old daughter Briony Evans, who is also a nursery nurse and lives in Bury St Edmunds, carried out two short walks during the week with a longer one at the weekend, in the run up to the marathon, while her other daughter Gemma Smart, 29, who works for the Lincoln Students’ Union, carried out walks in Lincolnshire with her boyfriend.

Liz said her husband, who was a plant manager for a liquid fertiliser company, was diagnosed with the illness in 2011 and had to undergo several different chemotherapy courses but it eventually claimed his life.

“When he was first diagnosed he spent quite a lot of time on the Macmillan Ward and he always said he wanted to give them some money to repay them for the wonderful treatment he received, so we decided to do something special for the unit.

“The walk was a lot harder than we thought it was going to be and it was raining from 8.30am to 1.30pm so we got quite wet during the first section.

“Doing it was just an idea that we came up with. The hospital and its staff are amazing and we wanted to raise money for them.”

Sally Daniels, My WiSh appeal manager, thanked Liz, Briony and Gemma for taking on such a huge challenge.

“It is easy to forget all the hard work and training that sometimes goes in our supporters fundraising. To train relentlessly to achieve this is amazing and the money will certainly help enhance care on the cancer unit,” she said.

Pictured above are Liz Smart and her daughters Briony and Gemma at the West Suffolk Hospital with ward sister Laura Talbot.

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