Willow Burn supporter to take on Great North Run in Memory of his Mum Jacqueline

Posted: March 30th, 2022

By Willow Burn Hospice

Brian Darnell and his good friends Oliver Leathard and Leslie Gibbs are taking part in the Great North Run to raise money for Willow Burn Hospice, in memory of Brian’s mum, Jacqueline.  Jacqueline passed away seven years ago and she spent her final days being cared for at Willow Burn Hospice.  To say thank you for the outstanding care she received, Brian has decided to give something back by running in the world’s biggest half marathon to raise money for his local hospice and to honour Jacqueline’s memory.

Brian said of his mum, "She was such an amazing women who just lit up every room she walked in. She was an incredible mother and just a wonderful woman and with a brilliant personality. I heard a saying once about everyone’s life is like a song and I will continue to sing her song as long as I’m here.  She spent her final days at Willow Burn Hospice, the support and love you guys gave her was unforgettable and I would love to do something in return."

 Brian will be running with his good friends Oliver and Leslie who were both very close to Jacqueline; Oliver said, "I saw the Willow Burn vests last year and immediately thought of Brian and said to myself 'we’re going to do it next year together for Willow Burn, for Jackie'. So I texted him the following day and asked if he fancied it and he said yes, absolutely.

I’m running for Willow Burn mainly to support Brian. Brian is my cousin’s partner and we have become very close friends. Willow Burn cared for Jackie (Brian’s Mam) during the last few days of her life. Brian has told me that during this time, the care and support she and the family received was amazing. I know that Brian is eternally grateful for Willow Burn, as are so many others. I believe that respectful and dignified end of life care is vitally important as families can take comfort in knowing that they’re loved ones are in safe and loving hands - Willow Burn is excellent at this and it would be a privilege to raise funds for such an amazing charity so that they can continue to support people like Brian and Jackie."

We are very proud to have Brian, Oliver and Leslie on Team Willow Burn at this year’s Great North Run.  If their story inspires you to raise money for a local hospice that provides world class palliative and end of life care, Willow Burn has guaranteed places available for the 2022 Great North Run.   If you would like to register to join Team Willow Burn please email Selina Mankin smankin@willowburnhospice.org.uk


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