Sisters set up virtual race to support real marathon

Sisters Sharon McHale and Katharine Smith
Sisters Sharon McHale and Katharine Smith

Two sisters have set a virtual running challenge to support their efforts in this year’s London Marathon.

Sharon McHale, 47, and Katharine Smith, 50, want to raise £4,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation UK and are already a quarter of the way towards their target.

Kevin Bushby lost his fight against cancer in November, 2001, at the age of 14

Kevin Bushby lost his fight against cancer in November, 2001, at the age of 14

They are running in memory of Kevin Bushby, Katharine’s son, who lost his fight against cancer in November, 2001, at the age of 14.

Kevin was a student at St Andrew’s High School in Worthing and had Ewing’s sarcoma, a tumour on his spine.

Katharine, who lives in Durrington, said: “Having seen my son Kevin bravely face the challenge of fighting a rare bone cancer at such a young age has left us with a clear feeling of wanting to challenge ourselves in aid of a cause which helps other children in similar circumstances.

“As a mother, I saw first hand the benefits of Kevin having a special wish granted through the help and support of a charity supporting terminally-ill children.

“Although from experience we know you never come to terms with the loss of a child, being able to give something back to support others helps to give us a more positive outlook.

“This will be a real challenge for us and we would really appreciate kind support.

“Make-A-Wish UK grant magical wishes to enrich the lives of children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions. Granting their wish provides seriously ill children with hope for the future, strength to cope and resilience to fight their condition.

“They’re given quality time away from the daily realities of living with their condition and given the chance to make magical memories they can treasure forever – whatever their future may hold. We want to transform the lives of 1,000 children this year by granting their one true wish.”

H.G. King Funeral Services in Lancing, S & G Caravan Services in Sompting and Funnells Furnishing (Storrington) have agreed to sponsor the sisters.

Katharine and Sharon, who lives in Sompting, have set up Virtual 5k, 10k or Half Marathon as a Facebook event so others can join them by running their own route.

The virtual race will support their fundraising for Make-A-Wish Foundation UK by collecting a £10 donation.

Sharon explained: “Run, walk, skip, jump or crawl a 5K, 10K or half marathon in your own time before April 30, 2018, and we will send you a Make-A-Wish medal.”

To enter, email the name and address to makeawishvirtualrun@hotmail.com and donate £10 on the JustGiving page, quoting Virtual Run with a photo.

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sharonkatharine-funnell for more information.