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Running the Edinburgh Marathon in memory of Hollie

by Press Release
Wednesday 26th November 2014

Charity feature: Running the Edinburgh Marathon to raise funds for the Great Ormond Street - May 30 & 31, 2015

If things had been different, Hollie Anne Buckingham would be celebrating her 18th birthday in 2015. Tragically, she died just a few weeks old in 1997 at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she was nursed in her final days and left first-time parents Anne and Carl heartbroken.

Since then, Anne, Carl and their two other children Jack, 16 and Abi, 14 have kept their grief private. But with next year marking 18 years since they lost Hollie, they felt it was a good time to show their huge appreciation of the support of Great Ormond Street by running the Edinburgh Marathon to raise funds for the Children’s hospital.

As members of Cambridgeshire club Cambourne Runners Anne, 43 and Carl, 45 have taken part in several half marathons, but never the full distance. Anne explains that they felt the time was right.

Running the Edinburgh Marathon to raise funds for the Great Ormond Street - May 30 & 31, 2015

She said: “We have always remembered Hollie very quietly. We have always celebrated her birthday and been to the churchyard at birthdays and Christmas. I was talking with my mum and it is on big family birthdays and Christmas when you do think of her presence and the experiences she has not been able to share.

“We’ve both looked for things to do to say it out loud and acknowledge it a bit more. It has been a very quiet and personal experience until now. So when we launched our Just Giving page a lot of friends of ours we have met in the last ten years have said they had no idea.”

After being born on 5 October 1997, Hollie was brought home seemingly happy and healthy by her thrilled parents. But Anne and Carl were worried when she became quiet and sleepy and Hollie was eventually rushed to Great Ormond Street where she was found to have a deadly infection.

“Watching her fight was the single most difficult thing I have ever experienced.” Explains Anne. “Without our family and friends it would have been completely unbearable - they carried us through chunks of time that I can’t even remember. Our other saviour was Great Ormond Street Hospital and the complete dedication of their consultant specialists and the unwavering support of their nurses and support staff. It helped us through the terror of our arrival, to communication through the treatment. They stood by us with respect as we waited for the inevitable and kept in touch to help us pick up the pieces when we surfaced again.”

“They were amazing. They sent us support packs and poems. Without that it would have been an even more traumatic experience. Although we were really appreciative at the time, I’m not sure if we ever really shared that. So this seemed like an opportunity for us to share just how appreciated their support really was. It will stick with me forever.”

Anne says she had good reason for choosing the Scottish capital for their debut marathon. “Friends have recommended the Edinburgh Marathon.” She said.

“When they first suggested it, I laughed because I assumed it would be really hilly. But then I looked into it is one of the most flat races in the UK. That was one of the draws. Also my father’s family is originally from Scotland, but I’ve rarely been. In addition to what would have been Hollie’s 18th birthday, it will be my dad’s 80th birthday next year so it seemed like a great reason to tie it in with a Scottish marathon. We are going to take the children up and make a few days of it.”

The annual Edinburgh Marathon Festival, which includes the full marathon as well as the half marathon, a 10K, a 5K, two junior races and the increasingly popular team relay marathon, will take place on 30/31 May next year, with standard marathon entries set to close within the next couple of weeks.

To enter go to www.edinburgh-marathon.com

To pledge your support for Great Ormond Street in memory of Hollie Anne Buckingham, visit www.justgiving.com/remember/149955/Hollie-Anne-Buckingham


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