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Simon Kershaw, 33, from Malmesbury, and his wife Bex will be running the Bath Half Marathon on Sunday 4th Mar with 20 friends to raise £20,000 for Helen & Douglas House children’s hospice.

Simon’s daughter, Olivia, was infected with a parasite, toxoplasmosis, before she was born. The chances of this happening are 1:100,000. Inflammation in her brain and eyes has caused a lot of problems and Helen & Douglas House have agreed to help his family. He sent out a message on What’s App inviting friends to take part and they all agreed to bar those who were pregnant.

Simon said “We have a group on Strava with a leaderboard so each week we can compare who has run the farthest in training. We have a WhatsApp group for encouragement and top tips. A few of the runners haven’t run at all since school. Training started in October.”

“I am sure on the day the fast ones will tear off and try and set a new PB whilst the remainder will stick together going steady. We will all be wearing our orange H & D running vests. After the race we will all have lunch together in a restaurant in Bath.”

“Fundraising is going well with over £19,000 raised already. Some people’s work have also said that they will match any donations that their employee receives.”

“Helen & Douglas House is a fantastic place where the staff and facilities come together to provide a wonderful environment for children like Olivia. Let’s raise as much as we can for such a great cause.”

If you would like to make a donation please visit their JustGiving page

Alison Hooker from Helen & Douglas House said “We are delighted that Simon and his friends have chosen to raise money for our charity. We rely on donations like this to help local terminally ill children and cannot do this without the help of wonderful people like Simon and his friends.”