Ben Wood from Bath is getting ready to take on the ultimate challenge of running the London Marathon on 3rd October in memory of his father.
The 41st Virgin Money London Marathon is back with a bang this October, with 100,000 people set to take part across an in-person and a virtual event. This year’s event is set to make history as the world’s biggest marathon ever.
Ben is powering through his training runs with a smile, and has already raised over £1,000 for The Forever Friends Appeal – the official NHS charity for the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH Bath). Funds will specifically go to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to say thank you for caring for his father, Adrian Wood.
Ben said: “In May 2016, my Dad very sadly passed away at RUH Bath ICU. Honestly, it was a very scary time. The staff in the ICU did a fantastic job keeping my family and I informed and reassured during our time there. Though dad very sadly passed away, both he and my family always remained optimistic. A feeling I personally carry on to this day in all aspects of life.
I am a firm believer in the importance to always have a sense of humour, even in the darkest of times. Laughter is the release of tension and spreads positivity. The staff would often join me, my family and dad in simply having a laugh. To me there is no greater feeling and connection than this.
When Dad passed, I lost a part of my past and it was an incredibly tough time for my family and I. Though rather than be consumed by the hardship, I knew I wanted to turn it into something positive and to create a better future. With my Dad’s love of all things sport and helping others, I thought of no better way of honouring his memory than running the London Marathon for RUH Bath ICU who cared for dad in his last few weeks.
I have never really been active or had any physical fitness or skills (I couldn’t run a bath without breaking a sweat!). Though despite this, and despite experiencing plenty of failures, as we all do in life, I have always been a strong believer that you can achieve anything you set your mind to despite the challenges.
Ben’s fundraising will help support patients at their most vulnerable. Margerinta Jenkins, Matron of Critical Care and Outreach, said: “The incredibly poignant memories of Ben’s experience, captures the essence of what we as a team try to create for our patients and families. Hearing of Ben’s challenge to himself, getting out of his comfort zone to raise money for our unit is incredibly humbling. Such actions give us the opportunity to improve our patients and families experience and we as a team cannot thank Ben enough.”
Ben is an inspiration to us all. He is setting himself a big challenge and is proving that anyone can achieve their goals, whether that’s to run a marathon or something a little smaller.
Choosing to fundraise to say thank you to the hospital is a really personal and amazing thing to do. We’re very proud to have Ben on our marathon team!
If you would like to show your support to Ben you can make a donation on his JustGiving page.