nurse takes on epic challenge to support little havens hospice


11 March 2016

A district nurse is celebrating turning 55 this year by completing five challenges in the hope of raising £5,555 for Little Havens Hospice.

Liz Alderton, who will turn 55 on 11th May, from Ingatestone, has already completed her first challenge ‘Chase the Yeti’, an obstacle course through thick mud and will next complete the London Marathon, 15 mile mountain trail run, a triathlon and finish with the London to Paris bike ride in September, all raising money for Little Havens Hospice.

The challenge was inspired by the care Little Havens gave to her son’s school friend, Louis Cooper, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2004 and spent time at Little Havens before he died there on 13th July 2006 aged 10.

Liz says, “My son Joe went to school with Louis and when they were both eight my son got knocked over by a car. He survived but if the car had been going much faster he wouldn’t have. At the same time Louis was diagnosed with a brain tumour and he died and it just didn’t seem fair.

“It was a small school and everyone knew Louis. From then on we always did our bit; holding carol concerts and bake sales. Then in 2011 I went and watched a friend run the London Marathon and I decided I wanted to do it. I applied through the ballot but didn’t get in so sent in an application to Havens Hospices and got a place. It was also my 50th birthday year so I thought I’d celebrate by doing ‘nifty at 50’. I went and passed my grade five piano exam and got a degree in palliative care. As I was running round I thought to myself ‘normal people get drunk for their 50th, not limp through the streets of London!’ but I’ve since done another two!

“Turning 55 this year I thought I would celebrate with a new challenge – or challenges! Chase the Yeti was really tough, it was 5km of mud, water, obstacles and temperatures of three degrees! It was truly terrible and we were hypothermic and hysterical by the end, as well as having an impressive array of bruises, cuts and abrasions – I’m glad to have done it but never again!”

Liz will next complete the London Marathon on Sunday 24th April.

“I’m slightly worried I won’t reach my fundraising target. I’ve raised £1,600 so far and I’ve held a quiz night, curry night and a carol concert. Ingatestone is a small village and everyone knows everyone and they’ve all been so supportive which makes a huge difference.”   

Darren Cooper, Louis’s dad, says, “Nickola and I have supported Liz for a number of years and attended several of the fundraising events that she puts on. The curry nights seem to be especially popular! We wish her well with this new challenge and continue to offer our support and best wishes.”

“The training is going ok, not as well as last year but I’ve not injured myself yet! Each year that I’ve run the marathon I’ve gotten faster so there’s a bit of pressure this year but it’s difficult to fit in all the training. I start work at 7am and also sing in two choirs and do bell ringing". - Liz

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