Consultant chest physician, Georges Ng Man Kwong, from Stockport, has smashed a £300 target and raised £1,500 by running more than 13 miles in a lockdown half marathon for Francis House Children’s Hospice.
After the cancellation of the Great Manchester Run, Georges, a respiratory doctor at the Royal Oldham Hospital, set up an impromptu socially distancing run, near his home in Bramhall.
Georges said: “I have seen the effects of the Covid pandemic in daily life, and at work, as a respiratory doctor in a busy hospital. Words do not do justice at this time: courage, care, compassion, worry, fear, togetherness, loneliness, resolve, determination, love, and loss.
“My solo half marathon was not really planned but started off as a run to de-stress after a very busy and challenging time working in hospital near the peak of the Coronavirus outbreak.
“By this time, the Great Manchester Run like so many other events had been cancelled. There is something special about running an organised event especially when it is in such a destination city like Manchester. The energy of thousands of fellow athletes running for good causes is truly inspirational, and a great motivating factor to complete the distance.”
As he ran alone, Georges began to think about the charities struggling to raise funds, so he turned to groups of friends on social media to ask for sponsorship.
Within minutes, he had pledges of support, including donations from his spin class friends at David Lloyd Cheadle – also known as the Spartans.
Georges said: “The result was overwhelming, it felt like there was a chain reaction of support. I was humbled and touched by the response of the many sponsors who gave so generously.
“It made me appreciate the network of friends, family and my awesome NHS colleagues who you can call on when you need them – much like the role that Francis House provides to children and their families at their times of need.
“Just knowing people are there for you is sometimes enough to cope with almost anything.”
Whilst the majority of hospice families continue to shield their vulnerable children at home, Francis House has responded to their needs by increasing telephone support and providing end of life care and emergency respite.
Although below his personal best of 1:43:36 Georges, 52, completed his solo half marathon in an impressive 1 hour 55 minutes, and with the help of 75 supporters raised a remarkable £1,531.
“If you were going to do an event for charity do it anyway, if you can, observing social distancing. Charities need your support now more than ever before. Stay active, stay safe and together we will get through this,” he added.
With the hospice facing a shortfall in income from cancelled fundraising events of £250,000 anyone wishing to donate to the Francis House emergency appeal can visit https://www.justgiving.com/