A dad-of-three who took up running to help him cope during his beloved wife’s illness has taken on a 13-mile challenge in her memory.
And his brother has also showed his support for the hospice which cared for her, by launching an ‘Epic Adventure’.
Ben and Matthew Gilkes have undertaken two challenges in memory of Ben’s wife Lisa, who lost her battle with a rare and aggressive form of cancer in April 2015, aged 36.
She was admitted to St Catherine’s Hospice and as a nurse herself, Lisa was extremely thankful for the wonderful care she received during her final three months.
Ben made a promise that the family would continue to support the charity, and his brother Matthew has also been inspired to get involved.
Ben, who has just completed the Great North Run, said: “When Lisa was first diagnosed she encouraged me to take up running as a way of dealing with some of the stress caused by having to watch your wife and the mother of your children coping with a terminal illness, knowing that there is nothing you can do to stop her pain and make her better.”
He began running in between dropping off and picking up their children Ned, 11, Tom, eight, and seven-year- old Alice from their various after-school activities.
Ben, 43, added: “I will never be able to thank all the caring and dedicated staff at St Catherine’s enough.
“Lisa was adamant that as a family we should continue to support the hospice, so lacing up my trainers seemed like a fitting way to raise vital funds for St Catherine’s.”
A week later, his brother Matthew entered the sea at Tenby along with 2,000 other competitors in Ironman Wales, to swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles, and run a marathon – all in under 17 hours.
Matthew said: “Lisa would regularly holiday with Ben and their children in Tenby.
“So to take part in a race in a place that gave them lots of happy memories made it an easy decision.”
They have so far generated almost £2,500 for the cause. To sponsor the Gilkes brothers and their friends, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/benandmatthew-gilkes.