NHS nurse completes half-marathon challenge for health workers around the world

26 May 2020

Marie Pennell completed a half-marathon to fundraise for CAFOD.

Marie Pennell completed a half-marathon to fundraise for CAFOD.

After Marie Pennell's annual parish walk was cancelled, she decided to organise her own special fundraiser and embarked on a half-marathon challenge. 

Marie, a haematology clinical nurse specialist from Princes Risborough, has now completed her half-marathon around Buckinghamshire and raised nearly £2,000 to support health workers and local aid experts tackling the coronavirus pandemic in developing countries. 

The start of the challenge 

Marie, who is a member of the CAFOD group in her parish, St Teresa in Princes Risborough, regularly helps to organise fundraisers for CAFOD and takes part in a sponsored walk every summer.

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As she was unable to complete the walk this year due to lockdown measures in the UK, she decided to organise her own sponsored fundraising challenge instead.

The day of the race 

Supported by friends, family, and neighbours along the route, and with husband Alan acting as marshal and timekeeper, Marie managed to finish her 13-mile challenge in two hours and six minutes.

“I have been amazed at the generosity of my friends and family and the heart-warming support I have received so far,” said Marie after finishing the challenge.

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“I had support on the way from a friend who cycled part of the route and supplied water, from my husband and marshal Alan, and friends and family cheering along the route.

“At the end, a friend gave me a bottle of buck's fizz and we celebrated in the garden, keeping social distancing of course!”

Just doing my part 

CAFOD has launched an emergency coronavirus appeal and is scaling up its support for local aid experts around the world.

These local experts are providing food to vulnerable families, as well as improving handwashing and sanitation facilities across communities.

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Marie Pennell NHS nurse

Marie is a haematology clinical nurse specialist working for the NHS.

Marie continued: “I am fortunate to work for the NHS and have seen the NHS working at its best at this difficult time. The areas where CAFOD works are not so fortunate and their weak healthcare systems are overwhelmed. 

“CAFOD is currently helping with water, hygiene and sanitation programmes and supporting families where their livelihoods are threatened in places of extreme poverty and refugee camps. I want to do my part in helping.”

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