13th June 2023

A fundraiser has fun the Ocean City Half Marathon in Plymouth to raise money for our hospitals.

Paula McIntyre decided to fundraise for Bristol & Weston Hospitals Charity after hearing how a colleague’s daughter, Poppy (pictured), had treatment for leukaemia at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

Paula said: “I signed up for the Ocean City Half Marathon quite some time ago, but was just going to run it for fun for myself, as I’m getting on a bit now I thought it would be a good idea for a ‘final fling’ before hanging up my running shoes.

Poppy was treated at Bristol Childrens Hospital“I work with Poppy’s mum so had heard all about how Poppy had leukaemia and fought through, ‘ringing the bell’ last September. Well, to everyone’s horror, Poppy was diagnosed with leukaemia again in January but a rarer, more aggressive type. Poppy’s parents needed to find a stem cell donor for Poppy and made a huge appeal. I tried to sign up but was too old so wanted to try and raise awareness of the importance of stem cell donation in another way.  

“So with only two weeks to go before the run, I decided to raise some money for the hospital that had done so much for Poppy and wrote requesting a t-shirt to pin photos of Poppy on to run in.”

Paula ran the half marathon on Sunday 14th May and raised £75 for our hospitals.

She added: “The atmosphere during the whole Ocean City Half Marathon is amazing. Plymouth Hoe is buzzing with thousands of people who are running not only the half marathon, but a 10km and 5km run too. People are lining the route the whole way around and shouting encouragement throughout. The best part is running past the sea on the homeward stretch and seeing the finish line.. 

“Crossing the finishing line is a bizarre feeling, exhausted but exhilarated - I burst out crying. 

“I know that I hadn’t trained enough for the run so swore that that was my last as it hurt rather more that it should have! How wrong I was - I am now waiting for the ballot results to see if I have been awarded a place in the London marathon!”

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