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.

A video put together by Rob Davey about Russell, the Run4Russ team and their fundraising efforts

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

Russ

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. 

"I wanted to do a surprise route for his wife and three girls so I ran the 38 miles spelling his name."

L-R: Russ, Tim's partner Hatty, Tim, Ginny

Tim added: "After Russ’s first brain tumour he was so positive and motivated to get 100% that he really wanted to surf again. He also wanted to come out running with me. Sadly he never was able to. 

"In all the times I visited him in hospital, at home or video calling him he was always making jokes and had a such a positive attitude."

Steve Statham, CEO of St Luke's Hospice Plymouth, said: "It was St Luke's privilege to care for Russ at the end of his life, and the way his family and friends have banded together to fundraise in his memory is a heart-warming testament to their great love for him. I want to say a huge thank you to them and to the people of the South Hams communities who got behind them with such generous donations. 

"Their support for our charity has come at a time when we have never needed it more. It will help our compassionate care reach more people like Russ who need us when their time is running short."


Russ and Ginny's beautiful children Aria, Effy and Indi

If you would like to donate to St Luke's Hospice, who cared for Russ at the end of his life, visit the Run4Russ JustGiving page here

- Sam Acourt, Editor

***

We don't put any of our South Hams Journal content behind a paywall, so you can always find our news free of charge. So if you would like to support us, you can buy us a coffee here! Thank you!

If you want to find out about advertising with us, or you have a story you would like to tell us about, email sam@southhamsjournal.co.uk or call 07904 048997.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Former KCC pupil appears in Netflix phenomenon

Large fire in Thurlestone

Woman's search for her birth mum leads her to Totnes