A veteran Falkirk runner who vowed never to take part in another major challenge event has raised a small fortune for Strathcarron Hospice by doing just that - thanks to the memory of her sister.
Louise Ledwidge (46) took part in the recent London Landmarks Half Marathon as a poignant tribute to her sister Anne Nixon, whose tragic and unexpected death from cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome was a devastating blow.
Anne, who worked full time for Strathcarron, was a popular and dedicated employee described as “a ray of sunshine among colleagues and patients alike”.
Paying tribute, former colleague Jacqueline Johnston, the hospice’s fundraising manager, said: “She was the friendly face who welcomed everyone, including patients and families, to our in-patient unit.
“It was shocking for everyone when she became ill and passed away so very suddenly”.
Louise took part in the London Marathon four years ago, but afterwards decided it would be a one-off - until now.
She said: “After a very difficult year I wanted to channel my energy into something constructive” - and later resolved to take part in the half marathon to raise money for the Hospice in memory of Anne.
It was a tough challenge in every sense, but the unique importance of this particular event made her determined to succeed.
“I felt myself beginning to struggle at the half way point”, she said, “but thinking of Anne and all the people who have kindly donated in her honour gave me the strength to get to the finishing line.”
Louise, who is also a jog leader for Jog Scotland, ran with two other family members as well as three friends who were each raising money for different charities - Make a Wish, Prostate Cancer and Cancer Research.
Louise’s effort raised £1,500 for Strathcarron, and her Justgiving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/louise-ledwidge1 is still open at for further donations.