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Jack’s Fundraising Story

Friday 17th November

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Jack Gallie is taking on a year of endurance challenges in memory of his mother, Julia, who worked at Farleigh Hospice. He explains how fundraising for Farleigh is motivating him to get fit and achieve this ambitious goal.

“I started this year with a new fitness challenge. I’d had a big operation to correct my right ankle because I have broken it four times, all while snowboarding. I was told that it would never be 100% better but exercise would definitely help. I hadn’t jogged or gone to the gym for ten years, but I have to manage my ankle pain so I started doing yoga, pilates and running. I signed up for some 5km and then 10km runs to keep me motivated and I really enjoyed them, so I kept pushing myself over longer distances.

My mum, Julia, died over four years ago. I’ve found that improving my fitness has also helped me to manage the next stage of my grief by giving me a goal to focus on. It gets me out of the house and I feel much more positive and motivated. Getting fitter has been transformational for me and now I can’t see myself slowing down!

Mum was loving, caring, full of laughter and infectiously positive. She was a nurse in paediatrics before taking a career break to bring up me and my two brothers, Billy and David. She then worked at Farleigh Hospice for many happy years.

When her sister died, she completed a degree in psychology and then her masters in counselling while still working at Farleigh and looking after us. She wrote her thesis on grief counselling for children to help her support my cousin.

Mum had stopped working full-time and had plans to set up a counselling centre when she had a heart attack and sadly passed away in February 2019. I want to echo her inspirational outlook on life by being a positive influence on those around me. She helped a lot of people when she worked at Farleigh and I was always very impressed when she talked about the excellent care that this hospice provides. That’s why I’ve decided to raise money for Farleigh in her memory by completing as many endurance challenges as I can in a year.

I’ve signed up for seventeen events: three triathlons, four half-marathons, three marathons and seven ultra-marathons. This is a huge challenge for me – I’m now a more active person but I’m far from a performance athlete. My damaged ankle can still be very painful but I am determined to raise as much as I can. So far, I have completed the Ten Y Fan Mountain Ultra, the Southend Triathlon, the Maldon Triathlon and the Battersea Half-Marathon.

I also took on the Amsterdam Marathon with Billy, which was his first marathon. Then I did the Battersea Park Marathon just a week later, in preparation for November’s Morocco Ultra Marathon. My ankle hurt throughout the last 10km in Amsterdam and my legs are sore after Battersea, but I’m confident that I’ll recover and be ready for my biggest challenge so far. I will celebrate my 40th birthday in Morocco, the day after I cross the finish line!

After that, I’ll have ten more events to do and Billy wants to run another marathon with me. Our Dad and David are supporting us and we’re going to link up our JustGiving fundraising webpage with our family and friends to make one team, all raising money in Mum’s name - There is nothing that we’re more motivated about right now than fundraising for Farleigh Hospice!

If you would like to sponsor Jack, please visit his JustGiving page

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This article is an extract from the latest Lantern Magazine.