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A half marathon in asbestos safety gear for cancer charity

02 May 2017

Stuart Hughes, from the National Asbestos Helpline, will run the Essar Chester Half Marathon in full asbestos safety clothing and protective mask to raise money for cancer charity, Maggie’s Centre.

Stuart has vowed to run the whole race, on Sunday May 21, dressed head-to-toe in asbestos safety equipment for Maggie’s Merseyside, which is based at Clatterbridge Cancer Unit in Wirral.

Facing cancer

Stuart, aged 43, says: “I’ve done this before and it was rough. It gets really hot in the disposable overalls, you can’t see where you’re going because the goggles steam up, and you’re constantly trying to catch your breath through the mask.

“But every step will be worth it to support the amazing work of Maggie’s. It is an incredible and empowering place for anyone – including family and friends – facing cancer.”

Asbestos team

Robert Moore and Joan Kennedy from Birchall Blackburn Law are also running to make sure Stuart finishes the 13.1 miles (21km) in one piece. Both are members of Birchall Blackburn Law’s specialist asbestos team and know how important Maggie’s Centres can be to asbestos-related lung cancer and mesothelioma sufferers.

Joan says: “If you’ve ever visited a Maggie’s Centre you will know why we’ve decided to run for them. They are wonderful and hopeful places that are outside the clinical environment and offer support that makes people feel less like a patient and more like a person.”

Robert says: “We’re obviously running for Maggie’s Merseyside but I’ve also been asked to keep an eye on Stuart in his asbestos gear. If the worst happens and he collapses, he’s asked me to throw him over my shoulder and carry him across the line – so I’m really hoping he manages to run the whole thing.”

Practical and emotional support

The National Asbestos Helpline has pledged to raise enough funds to “pay for a day” at Maggie’s Merseyside. On average it costs £2,400 a day for Maggie’s Merseyside to provide the free practical, emotional and social support that really makes a difference to people living with cancer – and their family and friends.

Holly Smith, Centre Fundraising Manager for Maggie’s Merseyside, says: “We’ve been so impressed by all the fundraising efforts of the National Asbestos Helpline so far, but this challenge really does raise the bar! We wish Stu, Joan and Robert the best of luck over the gruelling 13.1 miles and hope they all cross the finish line not too exhausted. We wouldn’t be able to keep our doors open without the help of our supporters, so we’re so grateful to the team for helping us be there for those that need our support.”

To support the team and Maggie’s Merseyside you can sponsor them at MaggiesRunners Virgin Giving Page.

For more information about Maggie’s Merseyside or where the nearest Maggie’s Centre is go to their website here.


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