Hospital staff take on racecourse for charity
By Sarah Wood | 26th April 2023
A woman who had her kidney removed due to cancer will be taking part in Cheltenham Running Festival in June.
Cathy Parry is among a team of theatre staff from Gloucestershire Hospitals who are swapping scrubs for sports gear on Sunday June 11 to raise money for Cheltenham and Gloucester Hospitals Charity.
The charity has been named the official charity partner for the event. It has a limited number of places left to fill and it is calling for more runners to sign up to help raise money.
There are distances for all levels of runners at the racecourse from 5km to 10km to a half marathon.
Cathy will be joined by five of her colleagues and her husband, Daniel, as they attempt the half marathon route.
The 39-year-old anaesthetic assistant was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma in 2022 following a routine scan and had surgery to remove her right kidney in September.
Cathy said: "The hardest thing was being away from work and the team for three months as they are like my extended family.
"When I found out about the race in January, I thought it was a great goal to set myself as part of my recovery. Some of the training has been mind over matter as not every run has been easy, but I am hoping to get around the racecourse as best I can."
The money raised by the theatre team will go towards providing specialist equipment and improvements to facilities to the hospitals, over and above what is provided by the NHS.
Cathy continued: "We would like our sponsorship money to be used to help two departments, including urology, as I know first-hand how fantastic the team are there. They looked after me so well and are always checking in to see how I am."
Woyciech Koczorowski, scrub nurse, who will be running with her, said: "Cathy has recovered so well, and we keep forgetting she only had an operation just over six months ago. She is the heart and soul of the department."
Cheltenham Running Festival suits both novice and experienced athletes and the route will be chipped for anyone wishing to officially log their times. There is also a children's race.
Lucy Harfield, race director at RunThrough, said: "We at RunThrough are proud to be supporting Cheltenham and Gloucester Hospitals Charity through this year's Cheltenham Running Festival. We are aware that not, only do running events have an incredibly positive impact on the participants themselves, there is a far wider impact on local charities when working together to engage the local community.
"The funds raised will go on to provide state-of-the-art equipment and care over and above that provided by the NHS. Something far longer lasting than those finish line endorphins."
Emily Williams, community fundraising manager, said: "We are so excited to be the official charity partner for this brilliant event. We have a limited number of places available on a first come, first served basis and we'd love to hear from any runners who want to take part."
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