Almost three years ago my world stopped. That was the day I found that my sister, Hayley, had passed away in her sleep aged 23 from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.
I still struggle with the words to express how it feels to be totally consumed by grief. Those of you who have also had the misfortune to experience losing someone close will know the feeling of stolen emptiness you are left with when a person you love is taken too soon. I am constantly amazed and dumbfounded by the strength in my family and others who have experienced this loss, to keep going even in the darkest of times. It is this strength that motivated me to find the courage to do something in memory of my sister Hayley.
A conversation at work one day led to myself and ten friends from work – Agatha Fielder, Angharad Small, Fiona Wallis, Rebeca Gonzalez, Samantha Gray, Emma Lane, Lorna Cox, Ellen O’Sullivan, Louise Bird and Amy Nixon – signing up to the “She Runs Windsor” 10k event.
A coin drop charity scheme at work enabled us to raise an immediate £1000 and alongside this we set up a justgiving page (www.justgiving.com/mec-run-10k) for friends and family to donate through; and we began training!
On Monday the 6th of May it was race day! It was the first time that this event has taken place but there was a fantastic atmosphere.
The only setback on the day was that it happened to be the hottest day of 2013 so far! At 10.30am we all lined up (perhaps a little too close to the front) and took off.
After making a bit of sprint start I realised I was going to have to slow down if I was ever going to make it round the course. The heat was quite unbearable to run in, but thanks to the amazing supporters who turned up to watch and cheer on the day – and also the volunteers handing out water along the route – my team mates and I all managed to keep going.
The fastest from our group was Agi who finished the race in under 55 minutes. I managed the 10k in 62 minutes which was I was very happy about. Afterwards we all celebrated with a couple of drinks in Windsor.
It was a great day and an amazing experience to run around Windsor Great Park. I am really thankful to all of the girls who took part in the race with me and all the people who so generously donated to CRY.
We have now raised £2,310 from this run! The total amount of money raised for CRY in memory of Hayley now stands at over £19,400 when money from this event is added to Hayley’s justgiving page and Claire and Chris’ justgiving pages – http://www.justgiving.com/HayleyAnneCrook, http://www.justgiving.com/Claire-Boyle2-10-11 and www.justgiving.com/Chris-Meeking.
I know CRY can use this money to prevent more young people from being taken before their time.