Hillmorton runner’s marathon effort for Myton

Julie Smith.
Julie Smith.

A Hillmorton runner has raised £12,300 for a charity close to her heart.

Julie Smith had never heard of Myton Hospices until she met her partner Stuart.

She said: “His dad Terry had been cared for by Myton in Coventry back in 2010, before I met Stuart, but Myton did not really have an impact on myself until 2014, when his mum, Margaret, received the devasting news that she had terminal lung cancer.”

Having never smoked, the diagnoses was a complete shock to the family.

Julie added: “When Margaret was discharged from hospital, it was suggested she attend Myton Day Hospice in Rugby every Thursday. My initial worry was that it would bring back all the memories of Terry and this would not make a positive impact on her well-being.

“I have never been proved to be so wrong.”

Julie, who completed the Virgin London Marathon for the charity, said visits to Myton had a positive impact on Margaret.

“Myton gave her direction, a purpose to live life to the full, positivity oozed from her,” she said.

“It changed her life for the better.”

Margaret enjoyed hand and shoulder massages and pampering sessions with the the hairdresser.

“Most of all she enjoyed interacting with other people in similar situations and absolutely adored the staff,” added Julie.

“She knew everyone’s name and our Thursday nights and Friday shopping trips were mainly filled with conversations of all her activities at Myton. It was heart-warming to see the ‘glow’ that she had gained.”

She said Myton gave her courage to face her battle with dignity.

Julie added: “In August 2016, Margaret’s health started to decline and she was eventually admitted into Coventry Myton Hospice. Again, I was anxious about her going into the hospice but was surprisingly relieved to see how warming everyone in the hospice was. Margaret was more at ease, she had the support 24 hours a day and it was heart-warming to see her relaxed and comfortable, it gave us a family a sense of relief. We would come and go as we pleased, which helped both Stuart and his brother Kevin, as they both do shift work.

“As a family, we all felt very welcomed at Myton and they couldn’t do enough for us. I even enjoyed Sunday lunch with Margaret at the hospice.”

During Margaret’s final week, her family wanted to be close by.

Julie said: “I refused to leave the hospice and they kindly gave me their flat to shower and sleep in.

“Margaret passed away on September 30, 2018, with dignity, pride and pain-free, even saying “goodbye”, before she was reunited in the arms of her loving husband Terry.

“The staff were amazing and gave Stuart and his brother all the help and guidance they needed.

“It is for this reason that I will always support Myton and I was so proud to run in this year’s Virgin London Marathon.”

Julie would like to thank everybody who supported her fundraising.