Tears as Rebecca finishes her final 10k charity run for Martin House Hospice in memory of her twin daughter

A Castleford mum completed her 300km challenge on Sunday for Martin House Children’s Hospice.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 10:22 am
Rebecca nears the finishing line after her 300k fundraising run for Martin House Hospice

For the whole of October Rebecca Battye, 35, ran 10km a day and has already raised more than £7,000 for the Boston Spa hospice that became the ‘first home’ for daughter, Amelia-Grace, who died at just three days old.

Amelia-Grace, who was born minutes before her twin sister Imogen, in January this year, was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and died at Martin House having spent three days with her family, including her four-year-old sister Ella-Rose, and dad Jonny, 36.

Rebecca, who is an independent living team leader for WDH, said: “Martin House was Amelia-Grace’s first home and where we had our short, but very special, time together as a family of five.

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Jonny and Rebecca with twins Amelia-Grace and Imogen and their big sister Ella-Rose.

“At times I felt guilty for what they did for us but, without the charity, we wouldn’t have had the time with Amelia-Grace that we did. She got to meet her grandparents and her big sister.”

As well as providing end-of-life care to Amelia-Grace and ongoing bereavement support to the whole family, the specialist children’s hospice’s in-house music and art therapists helped the Battyes to create precious keepsakes using Amelia-Grace’s hand and foot prints.

Before taking up the 300km challenge Rebecca hadn’t done many runs.

She tackled the Great North Run some years ago and vowed never to do it again.

She said: “This was the only thing I could think of to try and repay them somehow for all their support and help.”

Rebecca kept her friends, family and supporters updated with her progress through a dedicated Facebook page.

She said: “On the second day my run back took me towards a rainbow and I knew it was my little girl guiding me home.

“The first week felt quite hard but then I got into the swing of it, planning my routes while I was up with Imogen through the night and deciding where to go.

“As well as raising as much as I could for the charity it was nice to get out and have my own headspace for an hour.”

At the finishing line at Pontefract Racecourse on Sunday her supporters were there to cheer her on and organised a special celebration to mark the end of the challenge.

Rebecca said: “Eight of my friends ran the final 10k with me and we were joined by 10 others when we got to the park for the final lap.

“It was raining and there was a sea of umbrellas.

“It was unbelievable how many people had turned up to offer support - it was hard to hold back the tears.

“My mum and mum-in-law had put a ribbon across as a finishing line and as I crossed it it was quite overwhelming.

“Now that it is finished I can’t believe I did it - I still feel a bit numb.”

She added: “Thank you so much to everybody. It really does mean the world and it will mean so much to Martin House.”

To boost Rebecca’s fundraising, visit: www.facebook.com/donate/371148344414009/