Sheffield family take on 60 runs in six countries in just one year in memory of ‘special’ Judith
A family are aiming to complete sixty runs in aid of six charities in just one year, in memory of a lost loved one.
Simon Hughes, aged 58, set up the ‘Sixty4Judy’ challenge after losing his wife Judith to a brain tumour in 2017.
Alongside his family, Simon will be travelling to multiple countries to take on various running challenges to raise funds for life-changing cancer research, and cancer and bereavement support.
Simon said: “Judith was very special, my soul-mate. She was a loving mother and grandma, and a truly wonderful person - great fun, adventurous and intelligent.
“We had a very happy life together, when, out of the blue, she was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour at 59-years-old. The happy life we had was blown apart.
“The following 11 months passed in a blur. We tried to keep things as normal as possible, but there were daily trips to the hospital for radiotherapy, a complicated regime of chemotherapy, countless drugs, a bewildering clinical language, and constant change.
“We were both exhausted, but despite this, Judith was happy and peaceful. It feels strange to say this, but she had a good death. I was with her at home when she died, holding her hand. I’m so grateful we were together.”
During Judith’s illness, Simon took up running to clear his head, and after her death he decided to run in her memory for a good cause.
He said: “While Judith was ill, I’d regularly go out for a run; it cleared my head and calmed me. The running continued after Judith died.
“One day, out near Porter Valley, this idea came to me that I’d like to do something to remember Judith’s 60 years, and to try to help our family by giving us a positive challenge.
“So, on Judith’s birthday, December 6 last year, friends and family began the challenge of running sixty different races in a year.”
The aim of the running challenge is to remember Judith, but also to raise money for the six charities that helped her’ Cavendish Cancer Care, Weston Park Hospital, St Luke’s Hospice, supporting Brain Tumour Research and Brain Tumour Research and Support Across Yorkshire, and the Good Grief Trust.
Simon said: “Cavendish Cancer Care supported us both. I received counselling, starting whilst Judith was still with us, and continuing afterwards.
“Judith also received Reiki and massage therapy. She looked forward to her sessions as they provided comfort in a difficult situation. Weston Park Hospital gave Judith a lot of treatment and help, and St Luke’s Hospice provided community outreach support in the home for Judith.
“We’re also supporting Brain Tumour Research and Brain Tumour Research and Support Across Yorkshire, as brain tumour research is underfunded and vital to tackling this disease.
“We decided to support The Good Grief Trust as well, because our experience of being bereaved is that it can be quite hard to access bereavement services and they are trying to improve that situation.”
Sixty4Judy is comprised of events both in Yorkshire and further afield, run by different family and friends. Nicola, Judith’s daughter, is taking on the Couch to 5k programme, whilst Tom, her son, has joined a running club and is running a range of events. Judith’s grandkids are joining in with fun runs and friends are running too. Simon has tackled over 20 races, with more to follow.
You can sponsor Sixty4Judy at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/JudithHughes2.