In early 2020, a few weeks before his 2nd birthday, John’s grandson William very sadly and suddenly passed away. Following their heart-breaking loss, The Lullaby Trust were able to support their family during those profoundly dark times. 

After always saying he wouldn’t run a marathon, John was compelled by how significant The London Marathon 2023 could be for their entire family. On what would have been William’s 5th birthday and an emotional day filled with celebrating beautiful William’s short life, John ran his first marathon, providing a positive focus for them all.  

What an amazing experience it was, I never thought I had it in me to run a marathon. It just goes to show what you can achieve if you’re determined and focused enough to do the training required”.  

However, John wasn’t just running for William alone. He was also running for the loved ones of those who donated to his fundraising, in return for a memory ribbon sewn onto his running vest. During his epic journey along the marathon course, John called out the names from those remembrance ribbons which was “a great source of inspiration” 

Due to the weather, John was a little concerned there wouldn’t be those incredible crowds that usually support The London Marathon. “My fears were unfounded even in the rain, it wasn’t long before I got my first shout out which was a humbling experience, there was a storm of support that lay ahead”. Being able to see family and friends along the route and at The Lullaby Trust cheer points were also a welcome sight. Being able to pick up supplies, creating memories with his family and getting those all-important hugs “provided the boost I needed to get me through those miles” 

“I made a push for the finish line with an emotional shout out to William wishing him a happy heavenly birthday. I crossed the line in 5hrs, 11 minutes and 10 seconds. It was over, 4 months of training had come to this and understandably I was overcome with emotion but also an incredible feeling of accomplishment and a job well done”. 

John started by thinking he would never run a marathon, after sharing the story of “one of the most amazing days of my life” he ended by saying that one day he might just do it all again. 

With the support of his family and friends and in memory of beautiful William, over £6000 has been raised. John said, “it was an honour and privilege to run in Team Lullaby. By raising much needed funds for The Lullaby Trust so they can continue their amazing work to provide help and support to others who need their services”. 

For more information about how we support families, head to our Bereavement Support page.