Daughter completes promise to dying mum by completing first charity marathon in her memory

Helen Monkman ahead of the Edinburgh Marathon this year.
Helen Monkman ahead of the Edinburgh Marathon this year.

A PERSONAL trainer fulfilled her promise to her dying mum by completing her very first marathon to raise charity cash.

Helen Monkman, 42, was faced with the heartbreak of seeing her mum, Veronica Lorimer, diagnosed with a brain tumour and then being told she had just two and a half months to live.

Veronica, who was 70 at the time, was still active and working full time when she was given the shock diagnosis.

And as she was being treated during her final weeks, Veronica said she wanted to raise money to thank hospice staff but was never able to do so. But dedicated daughter Helen promised she would complete a marathon in her mum’s memory.

The mum-of-three who lives in the Bishop Cuthbert estate with husband, Phil 46, signed up for the Edinburgh Marathon earlier this year.

Training went exceptionally well and Helen coasted through the halfway point in the race faster than her personal best.

But at the 15 mile mark she suffered terrible cramps in her legs, and although her muscles continued to spasm for the rest of the race, Helen managed to complete the 26.2 miles in three hours 40 minutes.

And more importantly, she raised £1,300 for Hartlepool and District Hospice. Her mum actually spent her last days at Teesside Hospice but asked Helen to raise money for any local hospice. And due to the fact Helen’s best friends mum, Liz Horwood, was treated at Hartlepool Hospice before she also sadly passed away, she opted for the town facility having already completed a fundraiser for Teesside Hospice earlier this year.

Helen said: “My mam wanted to raise money for the hospice to thank them in some way for the care she had received but sadly that day never came.

“I promised her I would run a marathon and raise money on her behalf so in May this year that is what I did.”

Helen looked back on the devastation of being told her mum was suffering with a brain tumour before then discovering doctors could do nothing more for her. Veronica sadly died in September 2011.

Helen added: “You never want to experience a loved one being in a hospice but if you do you will know how valuable their care and support is.

“They are amazing places and the staff that run them are fantastic.”

Janice Forbes, community fundraiser at the hospice said, “This was an amazing achievement for Helen in such an uncomfortable condition.

“This is a wonderful tribute to Veronica and Liz who I am sure would be extremely proud of Helen.”