A loving and grateful mum from Burnley is running four marathons on consecutive days to raise money for a children’s hospice that has become a lifeline for her and her family.
Former St Hilda’s High School and Burnley College student Nacressa Swan began her extraordinary odyssey yesterday. To date, the venture has raised £8,000 in sponsorship, with every penny going directly to Martin House Children’s Hospice near Wetherby.
When we first started the fundraising, I thought about setting a target of £1,000 but didn’t want to be presumptuous. So for people to be so generous with their sponsorship before we’ve even started running has been overwhelmingMum Nacressa Swan
The hospice is caring for her baby daughter, Amaia, who was found to have an incurable genetic condition when she was 11 months old. Tiny Amaia is now 19 months old. She had an unconventional arrival to the world, born in a car after a quick labour and did not take easily to feeding. She developed epilepsy and eventually doctors confirmed that she had the condition that will end her life.
Nacressa, who now lives in Leeds, will run the Dales Way and Windermere Marathon with her best friend Jude Lane. They will be joined by other friends for sections along their 106-mile-journey.
She said: “When we first started the fundraising, I thought about setting a target of £1,000 but didn’t want to be presumptuous. So for people to be so generous with their sponsorship before we’ve even started running has been overwhelming.
“The hospice is completely different from what I expected, and can be like going on holiday. It’s not just there to support a family during a child’s last moments; many families go for a long time for their support before getting to that stage. The children who use it enjoy a whole range of great activities, including hydrotherapy, music and art while the parents get to meet other parents in similar situations and enjoy some chill out time.
Nacressa and Jude will be running the Dales Way from Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere until Saturday, and will finish with the Brathay Windermere Marathon on Sunday.
“Juggling the training, with a toddler and a job has been tricky,” she said. “I’m not aiming for any record breaking time – just to get round!”
Nacressa and Jude can be sponsored at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/4marathonsin4days