On Sunday 1st March, the annual Eastbourne Half Marathon will be taking place along Eastbourne seafront. Amongst those running in support of St Wilfrid’s Hospice, will be Kathryn, Susie and Liam, who will be running in memory of their father, Peter Langley. Last month, Susie reached out to us on Twitter and the family were kind enough to share their story.

‘Our Dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2013. Unfortunately by then it had already spread to his liver and wasn’t curable, but doctors said they would do their best to keep it at bay for as long as they could. Over the next few years he had lots of treatment, including two major operations at Eastbourne DGH and at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, several cycles of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, at the John Radcliffe in Oxford. He was a quiet man and we never really heard him complain as he navigated the highs and lows of appointments, blood tests, operations and tablets, even though we knew it was hard going at times.

‘Despite all the treatment, Dad was able to enjoy UK holidays and days out with us, Mum, our brother and his partner, and the children. One of the weekends away, we managed to fit seven adults, two children and a miniature tortoise in one caravan in Chichester! There were also trips to the New Forest, Isle of Wight, Bournemouth, West Dorset and Kent.

‘Towards the end of 2018 Dad was told he couldn’t have any more treatment, so it was at this point we got linked with St Wilfrid’s. The hospice had cared for our aunty who died in 2006 and he’d said that’s what he would like when the time came. 

‘By last spring things were becoming a bit more difficult - Dad couldn’t move around so easily and the Hospice at Home team stepped in to help, coming to the house twice or three times a day as needed. Dad died on 29th April 2019, exactly a week after his 73rd birthday. And it’s no exaggeration to say that we could not have got through those weeks without this wonderful group of people. They looked after Dad so brilliantly, and were there for the rest of us too. We couldn’t have asked for better support.

‘It was Liam’s idea to do the Eastbourne Half Marathon to raise money for the hospice. We chatted about it during a family gathering this Christmas and agreed we would all like to do something to say thank you. Susie’s an experienced runner and did the Brighton Marathon last year, but it’ll be mine and Liam’s first half and the furthest we’ve both ran (and I think it’s fair to say we’re both a bit nervous about it!). 

‘We’re really looking forward to the day and we’ll all be wearing St Wilfrid’s t-shirts, so if you're down on the seafront to support the runners, please give us a shout or chuck us a jelly baby. See you there!’

If you would like to support Kathryn, Susie and Liam and help them raise money for St Wilfrid’s, please visit their Just Giving page