Run4Russ raises nearly £16,000 for St Luke's Hospice in memory of local man
An effort to "honour and remember" a young father of three has turned into a fundraising machine that has raised nearly £16,000 for St Luke's Hospice.
|Ginny, Aria, Russ, Effy and Indi French|
Russell French was just 37-years-old when he tragically lost his battle with cancer in 2020.
He lived in Loddiswell with his wife Ginny and their three daughters Effy, 9, Aria, 4, and Indi, 1.
He should have been turning 38 on January 22nd this year, and this gave Ginny's sister Abi Edmonds and her fiance Rob Davey an idea - run 38 miles in January and try and raise a little bit of money for St Luke's Hospice at the same time. At the time of publication, they have raised £15,811.
"It started with wanting to do something active for Russ", explained Rob, "but we realised that since Covid was happening when Russ died, there were a lot of people out there who didn't get to say goodbye to him as they wished they could have.
"We wanted to do something that meant we could think about, honour and remember Russ and give friends and family something to focus on in this difficult year, especially Ginny and the girls."
We wanted to do something that meant we could think about, honour and remember Russ and give friends and family something to focus on in this difficult year, especially Ginny and the girls
Their fundraising target to start with was small, a "goodwill gesture" for St Luke's to thank them for the care they gave to Russ, but soon it took on a life of its own.
"We were aiming for about £100", said Rob, "Just a little something for us to work towards. But then it was shared on social media, and shared again, and shared again and suddenly it turned into something huge and we were getting donations from people we didn't know!
"People have just been so generous."
Then it was shared on social media, and shared again, and shared again and suddenly it turned into something huge and we were getting donations from people we didn't know!
People from all over the world who had their lives touched by Russ and his family took part, either running or walking 38 miles, and in one case, doing 38 hours of yoga!
One person who merits specific mention is Tim Jackson, who not only decided to run his 38 miles all in one go, but he also managed to make his route spell out Russ' name.
|Tim Jackson's 38 mile run spells 'Russ'|
Tim said: "To honour Russ and raise money for St Luke’s Hospice I wanted to run in one go 38 miles as he would of been 38 on January 22nd 2021.
|L-R: Russ, Tim's partner Hatty, Tim, Ginny|
|Russ and Ginny's beautiful children Aria, Effy and Indi|
- Sam Acourt, Editor
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