Luton girl fighting leukaemia and brave man with COPD urge support for Keech Hospice Santa Run

Left to right: Isla-Beaux, the Santa Run, and Mark.
Left to right: Isla-Beaux, the Santa Run, and Mark.

A little girl who is battling leukaemia and a brave man with COPD are hoping Luton residents will start limbering up for Keech Hospice Care’s 5km Santa Run.

Isla-Beaux Cinato, six, and Mark Beddow, 58, both from Luton, are supporting the annual family-friendly race at Wardown Park to help raise money so as staff can care for more seriously ill adults and children.

Each year the hospice relies on 70 per cent of its funds coming from the community and Isla-Beaux and Mark are keen to encourage people to take part.

Isla-Beaux’s mother, Katie Porthouse, said: “We love coming to Keech, everyone is so friendly, and we feel really safe. It makes you feel like you are not going through it alone.

“Isla-Beaux has come along so much from going to the hospice and it has had an amazing impact on us as a family.

“I can go out and do all the things I need to do with her little brother Rocco, knowing she is happy and cared for.”

Mark, who suffered a stroke which worsened the effects of his Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, said: “It has brought me such reassurance that they’ve been able to support me with making plans for the end of my life.

“Keech isn’t just about dying; it’s about living too.”

Since it began ten years ago, the race has raised £174,000 – the equivalent of 4,580 hours of nursing care for in-patients.

The race takes place on December 16.

Entry is £15 for adults and includes a Santa costume to keep, finisher’s medal and gift.

Under 16s cost £5, which includes festive headwear, and family entry for two adults and three children is £40.

>www.keech.org.uk/santarun or call 01582 707940.