COLUMN: Sincere thanks to marathon runners

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Our news is often about patients and work, but this week I’d like to talk about those amazing people who undertake huge efforts to help support our lifesaving service.

We have some absolutely fantastic fundraisers in our communities, and would like to highlight those who put their best feet forward and took part in this year’s London Marathon and raised funds to keep our helicopters flying across Derbyshire.

The runners all had their own reasons for making the commitment to train for hours and hours in preparation for and then compete in the iconic event.

They are all equally incredible for supporting us in this way.

Here are a few of their back stories to highlight the wide range of people running and what motivates them.

Uttoxeter production engineer Matthew Brown is engaged to a member of our fundraising team.

He took part in the gruelling 26.2-mile marathon on April 23 for the second time, having raised more than £3,000 two years ago.

This time he has secured sponsorship from house builders St Modwen Homes to help him reach his target of £4,000.

A cardiac nurse, who herself has a heart condition, took part in the annual London event after having seen first-hand during the course of her work, the vital role the air ambulance plays in saving the lives of patients.

An unnamed 33 year-old solicitor has never forgotten being airlifted to hospital after a minibus crash when he was a teenager.

During the following three years he underwent nearly 20 operations to repair his broken bones and reconstruct his scalp. He also had to undergo skin grafts and muscle replacements. Dubbed ‘the bionic man’ after nearly losing his life, luckily he is now fit and well. He ran in this year’s event for the local air ambulance as a way of saying thank you for the charity’s role in helping to save him.

A grateful mum, whose son was flown to hospital for lifesaving treatment after being knocked down by a car, also overcame three knee operations to take part. If you would like to follow in their footsteps – literally – and run in the 2018 London Marathon on behalf of your local air ambulance charity a limited number of places will soon be available.

As always we welcome any fundraising ideas or activities and thank everyone who gets involved, donating either time or money to help keep our most-valuable air ambulance service flying and saving thousands of lives.

For more information about the charity, or to obtain registration details about the next London Marathon visit: www.theairambulanceservice.org.uk.