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Inspirational runner defying the odds to raise money for hospice

9th May 2017

A Worcester man is beating all the odds by taking part in two half marathons.

Steve Harrison, aged 52, will run both races – the first on 21 May and the second on 17 September this year – despite having had a brain tumour.

Steve, a former Worcestershire Maths teacher, will be raising money for St Richard’s Hospice, a charity very close to his heart.

The father of two from Warndon Villages said : “I was 48 years old when my brain tumour was diagnosed and removed, and was told that the average life expectancy for people with my type of cancer was just six months.

“I was referred to St Richard’s Hospice by my GP in April 2013; the help and care I received was truly outstanding with home visits, group classes and frequent phone support.  I also benefitted from talking to other people with life-limiting conditions at the group meetings which I found really comforting, informative and uplifting.

“In January of this year I was discharged from the hospice’s care as I was responding well to treatment.  However, it is reassuring to know that I can be referred back at a future point if needed.

“I’ve decided to raise money for St Richard’s this year as a small thank you for the care and kindness they have shown towards me, my family and the countless others in their care.”

Ria Simons, Fundraiser at St Richard’s Hospice said : “Steve is an absolute inspiration!  He has pledged to raise £500 for our care but in the first week he has already achieved 50 per cent of this.  We wish him all the best in his endeavours and look forward to supporting him throughout.”

Steve began running in January 2016 and has no plans to stop.  He said : “Running has become a real passion of mine and helps me to stand up to the cancer that I am living with.  In February 2017 I had a mini stroke and in March a bad reaction to my chemotherapy treatment but – thanks to my two oncologists – I am continuing to train for the races.”

The connection with St Richard’s is a truly family affair as Steve’s son Jack volunteered at the hospice for five years, between 2009 and 2014, when he was at both The Royal Grammar School sixth form in Worcester and at Oxford University.  In typically upbeat fashion, Steve said : “Jack really enjoyed his time at St Richard’s and I of course got to see him on my visits to the hospice for treatment!”

To read Steve’s story and/or sponsor him please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/steve-harrison9.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

During this challenging time, we are doing our utmost to continue caring for the patients and loved ones who need us most.

The way we work has been adapted, with many of our services delivered remotely – such as over the phone, or by video call. And we are working closely with other health care professionals in Worcestershire to share knowledge and expertise at this time.

Latest changes at St Richard’s Hospice

  • In-patient Unit: It is with great sadness that due to stringent infection control measures, we are required to restrict visiting and cannot offer the comprehensive level of service in the way we usually do. However, we will still do our utmost to make sure that each patient and loved one is given the compassion and dignity they deserve. To help families stay in touch we are encouraging virtual visiting using technology such as video calls and apps. This will be discussed and explained to patients and families on admission and we can help provide access to equipment in the hospice. In addition, the IPU nursing team will liaise with each patient and family to arrange short daily visits from the patient's closest loved one and compassionate visiting, as appropriate. Read the full details here.
  • Community Nursing: Community services continue to operate, with a mixture of hands-on care and remote support.
  • Living Well and Family Support Services: Switched to virtual model, with care given remotely over the phone or via video call.
  • Shops: All 19 of our shops and warehouse are temporarily closed. Please do not leave donations outside our shops, as we are unable to collect them at this time.
  • Fundraising: All hospice organised events until the end of August have been postponed. If you wish to support us, please donate to our Resilience Fund.

Please do not visit St Richard’s Hospice if you have a high temperature or new, continuous cough. If you have these symptoms, please stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. See NHS advice on coronavirus.

Thank you for your support and understanding at this difficult time.