In Marco’s Own Words…
I have always had great admiration for Sir Andrew Strauss, the cricketer, his leadership style, and as my boyhood hero. I was very saddened to hear about his wife, Ruth’s terminal diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer and death in December 2018.
The courage, dignity and vulnerability which Sir Andrew demonstrated in dealing with his wife’s death and, in embarking upon a worthy legacy in her name, established a greater respect towards Sir Andrew Strauss, the man.
Inspired by this story, I stepped forward and started training for the Manchester Marathon and started to fundraise for the Ruth Strauss Foundation (RSF). My support for Sir Andrew Strauss and the RSF is also strengthened by two very personal reasons:
The first is my own personal experience of being brought up in a single parent household. My mum had two young boys to bring up and her experience has made me aware of the challenges a single parent has to confront. Therefore, the RSF’s objective of providing emotional support for children, who have a parent dying of cancer, is very close to my heart.
Secondly, my very close friend, Sonya Barton, lost her husband to a similar rare form of non-smoking lung cancer. Sonya has shown me that emotional support is critical in the process of a family navigating their grief, especially for dependent children.
My fundraising journey for the RSF started with a fitness fundraising event, which I was able to host as a Personal Trainer. However, it has now evolved into a community based campaign.
During lockdown, normal fundraising events were cancelled, so the RSF began a great initiative called the RSF 26 Ball Tap Challenge. I asked the local community if they would be willing to take part in this challenge outside their homes and they all agreed .This brought people together and provided a shared purpose. Now others are coming up with their own ideas to help my fundraising. One lady arranged for a local business to provide lasagne which was distributed to the local community in return for a donation to the RSF.
”My support for Sir Andrew and helping the RSF achieve its objectives are the drivers to sustaining my purpose of community fundraising for the RSF and crossing the finishing line of the Manchester Marathon.Marco PapaleoSupporter