A former palliative care consultant from Ilkley is lacing up her trainers for the London Marathon this month to raise vital funds for the hospice where she worked for almost two decades.
Linda Wilson, is taking on the 26.2-mile distance on Sunday 23 April in aid of Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice in Oxenhope, where she worked from 2003-2022, providing expert and compassionate palliative care to people living with life-limiting conditions.
“The care that Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice can offer is on a different level because of the specialness of the environment and the experienced multidisciplinary team, who have the valuable time to give to patients and families,” says Linda, who lives in Ilkley and has worked in palliative care for more than 30 years.
“It’s a very special place and it’s been such a privilege to provide care to so many patients and families over the years in the hospice, at home and in Airedale Hospital. I’m still really passionate about supporting people to have a good end-of-life experience in their preferred place – whether that is in a hospital, hospice or at home.”
Knowing that the government provides only one-third of the funding that hospices need, Linda decided to run the London Marathon to raise much-needed funds for Sue Ryder.
“I would not describe myself as a runner at all, so this is a big challenge for me,” she explains. “I have done one other marathon, which was 10 years ago to celebrate my 50th birthday, so this is an opportunity to celebrate my 60th, while also raising funds for a cause close to my heart.”
Linda shares that her marathon training is going well, but it has sometimes been difficult to run during the winter months.
“Training is tough – I sometimes think it is harder than the marathon! I am up to 20-mile runs now, but it is hard to get out when it is cold or wet – or both – and the longer runs take a lot of your time during the day. However, I feel lucky as I know that many people are not fortunate to be well enough to do something like this.”
“I will be running the marathon with my friend, Annette, who was a consultant at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice in Leeds for many years. It’ll be an amazing atmosphere and I am looking forward to it – but I’m a bit nervous too. For me it’s not about the time it takes me to finish, it’s just getting over the finish line, hopefully without any walking!”
Hayley Ibbotson, Senior Community Fundraiser at Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice, said: “We’re so grateful to Linda for showing her ongoing support of our hospice by taking on this iconic challenge. We remain heavily reliant on individuals donating and fundraising for us, and every pound will help us to continue to offer our compassionate care and support to local people and their families – and fill someone’s last days with love.”
Linda has almost raised £2,000. To donate to her fundraising page, visit: https://2023tcslondonmarathon.enthuse.com/pf/linda-wilson.
For more information about Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice, visit: sueryder.org/manorlands.
If you’re inspired by Linda’s story, and would like to run the London Marathon for Sue Ryder in 2024, visit: sueryder.org/londonmarathon.