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James Snook, 37 of Portsmouth, completed an Iron Distance Triathlon in aid of Chestnut Tree House. James was aiming to raise £6,850, enough to pay for a day of care at the hospice. James has now smashed his fundraising target, and raising £7,340 to date.
On Sunday 13 September, the gruelling event involved getting up at 5am to complete a 2.4 mile swim in Weymouth Bay, then cycling 112 miles in the Dorset countryside, and ending with a 26.2 mile marathon run. This ultimate endurance event also imposes a time limit of 16 hours to complete. James was delighted to achieve a finishing time of 15hrs 15mins in some very challenging conditions.
James said: “I had never done anything like this before. Not even close! Two years ago I was almost four stone heavier and couldn’t even run to the end of the road. Since then, in training I have swum over 250 miles, cycled approximately 6,000 miles and run around 1,500 miles. Why would any sane person do this? My motivation is the story of my friends Louise and Steve and their brave daughter Amber, who was cared for by Chestnut Tree House during her fight against Neuroblastoma.
I was hugely saddened to hear of Lou and Steve losing their beautiful and fun-filled daughter. When you first hold your new-born child in your arms, no parent expects that their life will end so soon. Louise and Steve told me of the fantastic support that Chestnut Tree House provided for them and provides for other families. I knew deep in my soul that I had to do something to help this great organisation.”
Steve and Louise Rooke, from Haywards Heath, said: “Amber was born on 19 May 2011. She was a perfect addition to our family. Amber was a beautiful, happy, easy going little lady who fell ill when she was just 12 months old. Neuroblastoma left her completely blind and fighting for her life. We spent the next year almost permanently in hospital with Amber, and tragically she lost her fight against Neuroblastoma on 24 June 2013, aged 2 years old. We are really grateful to James for his fundraising efforts to support Chestnut Tree House. The hospice will always hold a special place in our hearts and we hope the public will show their support by donating to James’ Just Giving page.”
It costs well over £3.5 million each year to provide all of Chestnut Tree House’s care services, both at the hospice and in families’ own homes across East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire. Families are never charged for their care and the hospice receives less than 7% from central government, so it relies heavily on the generosity, help and support of the local community.
Supporters can continue to donate to James’ JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/Iron-Snook.