Day 24: An Exmoor marathon #107days

Last weekend our first #JusticeforLB marathon was run by Ruth on Day 18 and tomorrow sees Deborah and Daniel treading the streets of London in the London Marathon, but today, Day 24 belongs to Lucy Skye.

Lucy is running the Exmoor Marathon, she isn’t running for money, although feel free to donate, but is running to raise awareness of LB and the treatment of many others like him. Here’s what Lucy had to say:

There weren’t many buses to be found on Dartmoor during training for this marathon (plenty of mud though) but whatever the length of the run, #JusticeforLB was never far from my thoughts. I know I feel powerless to make the changes to systems/people/organisations that so desperately need to happen, and if that’s how I feel, I know it’s only a fraction of what others are feeling. But I can also see what joy can be gained and maintained in small things, how we can freely add another bit to this puzzle, and how they all add up to something so much more.

And so the last long run is now done, and the tapering before the race has started…it’s this waiting around bit I find hardest.

I can plan it all out to the ‘n’th degree, but I’ve still got to go and do it, and I just want to get it done. I’m not going to lie, I’m scared I won’t finish and that it will all be too much. But there are more important things to keep me going:

  1. I wish I’d met LB. He sounds like the sort of guy who got things done. In his way and his time. So that’s the first thing I’ve got in mind – to take my time and just enjoy the view. I’ll get there when I get there.
  2. Second, that I need to laugh my way round. Probably not all the way or I’ll run out of breath and conk out. But I need to find things to laugh about, and think of things that will make me laugh. There’s no point in doing this if I don’t enjoy it.
  3. Third, that I’ll try and share those two things with as many people as possible. And how, and why. Because then they’ll know about LB too and we can all laugh in celebration of him up and down the hills and out to the sea.

And I’ll keep an eye out for buses. Just in case.

Please take a few minutes to visit Lucy’s facebook wall and wish her luck and thank her for her efforts as Lucy carriers the virtual #JusticeforLB running baton forward.

LucySkyeMud

Day 21: Looking forward to the weekend #107days

Day 21 was adopted by Deborah Faulkner, who joins the virtual #JusticeforLB running team, with Ruth (Day 18) and Lucy (Day 24). Deborah is running the London Marathon on Sunday, so if you’re down supporting or watching on the TV keep an eye out for her and give her a cheer. Here’s why Deborah is supporting #107days:

I heard of Connor’s story through the wonderful world of Facebook. A friend shared a link to Sara’s blog and I read it with sadness and horror. I have very little experience of autism, epilepsy or the provision of care that is in place for those with these conditions. I am, however a Mother of four children, all with health issues that have required me to put my absolute trust in the medical profession. Several times I have placed my child’s life in the hands of people I don’t know, but who I believe will do their utmost to protect them and keep them safe from harm.

It is beyond my imagination to comprehend how I would feel if one of my children were to die. To have a child die through someone’s negligence and in such tragic and preventable circumstances must be utterly devastating.

I got a place to run the London Marathon unexpectedly this year. It came as quite a surprise and I hadn’t been planning to run for a particular charity. When I read about the Justice for LB campaign I decided to dedicate my run to this important cause. I hate asking people for money (but please give if you can!), so my aim is to raise awareness by wearing #JusticeforLB on my back and front throughout the marathon. Due to the not very speedy nature of my running, thousands of people will be overtaking me so hopefully they will notice the hashtag and be inspired to look it up after the race. You never know- I might even get noticed by the TV cameras! I personally will be thinking of Connor and his family during the tough times throughout the marathon and use their strength as an inspiration to carry on to the end.

Obviously none of this will relieve the pain and suffering that Connor’s friends and family are experiencing every day. It is a very small thing that I am doing, but I believe that if there is anything we can do to be a voice for the vulnerable members of our society, we should do it.

LdnMarathonLB

Postscript

Daniel Marsden got in touch with us having read the post about Deborah running the London Marathon for us, having already been involved via WeLDNurses. Daniel had some space on his shirt, and wanted to support us too, along with his other causes. So that’s Daniel and Deborah running on Sunday, spreading awareness of #JusticeforLB and hopefully causing one or two new people to think about people with learning disabilities, and the rights afforded to them. Daniel’s shirt is below, so if you see him or Deborah give them a shout and a wave for us all.

DanielMshirt

Day 18: A marathon for Connor and Hope #107days

Day 18 is a special day because it marks the first day in which someone is volunteering to partake in an extreme physical test of endurance for #107days. Today is Ruth’s turn; asked why she was supporting #JusticeforLB this is what she had to say:

I didn’t know Connor, but I wish I had after reading his mum’s blog posts about this awesome young dude. I don’t have the words to describe how I felt on reading of Connor’s death.

My daughter is hearing impaired and had a tough time of it at high school – lack of training, understanding and patience from the staff we felt. In spite of endless meetings to try to resolve Hope’s poor attendance record, we ended up keeping her at home for the last year of her GCSEs. She achieved all eight of them – all on her own terms and through utter determination.

Fighting tooth and nail to secure her future – and feeling somehow like we were just awkward parents – I totally get what this campaign is all about.

So what is Ruth doing I hear you ask? Ruth is running 26.2 miles, in the rain, across the beautiful but challenging North Yorkshire Moors:

I haven’t the words… but what I can do is run! Connor and Hope will be uppermost in my mind on Sunday 6th April when I run the Hardmoors Wainstones Trail Marathon. I love trail running – albeit slowly! – and it seemed like a good opportunity to show off this awesome young dude and promote the campaign.

That’s right, at 9am this morning Ruth will set out to run 26.2miles in the wind and rain, with Connor and Hope as her inspiration.

1stHill

This was the view of the first hill as shared by John Hurse of Tynebridge Harriers after last year’s race – we’ll update with Ruth’s photo’s later on. We’ll be virtually cheering Ruth on, and are very humbled that she chose to run for LB; if you’d like to make a donation in acknowledgement of her efforts details of how to donate are available here, but either way please take the time to send Ruth a good luck tweet here. Final word goes to Ruth:

Hope – you are an awesome young dudette and we love you muchly xxx

Update
Ruth sent us an email this morning reporting back on the day:

I got flyers out on all the tables at the start/finish point and saw lots of people reading them – then pointing at my back-pack. Without fail, every one who asked me about LB said the same thing: what a basic and terrible mistake to have made in his care. Three people I spoke to all had some connection to the health/care/nursing profession, and all said their training over the years highlighted the need for utter vigilance when it comes to supervision of people with epilepsy. Needless to say, they were horrified and appalled that such a thing could have happened. There was a lot of support and love. In fact, one woman hurtled past me, then stopped to ask who the dude was on my back! That made me cry 🙂

Once again, thank you for letting me help in my own way – and an utter privilege to have had LB as my motivating, ‘go faster’ inspiration.

The privilege is ours, Ruth has kick started the endurance supporters in fine style – next weekend has two more marathons, Lucy and Deborah, and after that we still have a canoe race, a triathlon and possibly cyclists, more to come on them in due course. Thank you Ruth for sharing #JusticeforLB with so many.

Day18_RuthMarathon