Throughout December 2020, renowned runner and Guinness World Record holder, Ben Blowes, will be running 31 marathons in 31 days, as part of Tom’s Trust’s 31 Stars campaign to fundraise for the vital provision of psychological and mental health care for children with brain tumours.
At the end of an unprecedented year, in which mental health and exercise have become key issues during lockdown, Ben’s extraordinary challenge will take him through iconic routes around Cambridge, Suffolk and Milton Keynes. By completing a marathon, a day, Ben hopes to raise enough funds for Tom’s Trust to provide a full year of psychological care for 31 vulnerable children suffering with brain tumours. And if that is not enough of a challenge, Ben is aiming to run all 31 marathons in under four hours each, all while continuing to do his full-time job.
Cambridgeshire charity, Tom’s Trust, has pioneered a psychological care and support programme for children with brain tumours in hospitals within the UK and has a vision to implement this within every UK hospital that treats children for brain tumours. Brain tumours account for one out of four childhood cancers and are the second most common type of cancer in children. They strike young people when they are most vulnerable, so that many recover with educational, mental health and physical challenges that – without the right psychological care – can hold back their development for years.
As a Pride of Britain nominee and Guinness World Record holder, Ben has faced many running and fitness challenges in his time, including reaching the semi-final of Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week season 2, but never a trial requiring so much grit, stamina and endurance as 31 marathons in 31 consecutive days.
Commenting on the challenge ahead, Ben, said: “I am so proud to support the Tom’s Trust children and I am looking forward to the challenge ahead. After meeting Deborah [the charity’s founder] a few years ago and hearing her talk about her son Tom and the changes that she wanted to make in his name, I knew that I had to do something to help. Every painful step I take in December will be helping to support a child and their family and as a Father myself, it is important to me to try and help.
“This is a daunting challenge but one that I’m looking forward to and I wouldn’t be able to attempt it without the support of my family and the fantastic team behind the campaign.’’
Deborah Whiteley, Founder of Tom’s Trust said: “This year has been difficult for lots of reasons, but there has also been plenty of generosity and kindness shared along the way. The festive period can be particularly punishing for children with brain tumours and their families and it’s a time where our support services are more in demand than ever. We want to raise £1,000 a day during this festive month, which will support a Tom’s Trust child for one year.
“Every day throughout December, we will be sharing the story of a child who has suffered, or is suffering with, a brain tumour, highlighting the vital need for our expert mental health programme for these children and their families. We are extremely grateful to Ben for his dedication to support Tom’s Trust.”
For those looking to support the charity and the 31 Stars campaign, there are a number of exciting options to participate. Businesses interested in sponsorship packages should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01223 882738, and individual donors can visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/31Stars to get involved.