Running For Her Life (Esther Onabanjo-Christ’s Hospital)

Royal Marsden (established in 1851) is a foundation with a mission to contribute to cancer research “more people will be cured and the quality of life of cancer patients will be improved”.

In 2020-21 they raised a total of £43.4million to support their cause. To help the charity raise money this year, one of the boarding schools at Christ’s Hospital School (Barnes A) decided to get involved.

‘Well, to be honest, Mrs Murton (Barnes A’s current house parents) She was supposed to run the 40 miles, but she injured herself on a ski trip, so she wanted to make it a fun house challenge instead. As a sport captain, she asked me to propose the idea internally and it’s for our house charity so it was a win-win.” These words were said by the current Barnes A sporting captain Chinemerem Maureen Onyema. When the original idea for the house was proposed, it received a great response. People couldn’t wait to get involved, many even went running the same day! This fun little challenge was to be completed with the designated family trees in the house. Each person in the house could walk as much or as little as they liked, and by January 31 all distances had to be reported back to Maureen for recording. This healthy competition created a warm buzz throughout the House as people did their best to bring their pedigree to the top. ‘I loved seeing how proud people came up to me and told me how far they had run that day and directing a charity run was very rewarding as I was responsible for an event that raised money for a was collected for a good cause[…]I feel like more people want to run and improve their fitness and hopefully attend more charity/fundraising events.

If I had the chance I would definitely get involved in something like this again as it taught me that it makes a huge difference when everyone contributes and as we have raised so much money for charity, it was worth it.’ (Chinemerem Maureen Onyema.)

While raising money for charity is a great thing on a typical day, The Royal Marsden holds a special place in Barnes A’s heart as it is not only her house charity, but the charity that supports one of her helped her own students to live the life she lives today. I did a little interview with Tony Balogun to see what she thought of this thoughtful event.

How have you been associated with the charity The Royal Marsden?

I was diagnosed with lymphoma when I was 11 and placed in the care of the Royal Marsden. They were responsible for my treatment plan and other things related to my recovery. They still take care of me even though I’m fully recovered, so I still go there for check-ups.

What does this charity mean to you?

That means a lot. I also thought of the people who have taken care of me as a family by being with me on the journey and they have really contributed to a speedy recovery by not only helping me physically but also mentally. I find it amazing what they do for kids like me and they don’t make cancer feel like it’s the end. They give you that feeling of hope.

How do you feel about this fundraiser?

I think it’s an incredible tribute, it will help save many lives, it will continue to bring hope to the lives of children who feel there is no point in trying. I also think that the fundraiser can not only inspire children, but also stimulate research and educate others about childhood cancer.

240 children in the UK die of cancer each year, and 100,000 worldwide. It’s the second leading cause of death in children aged 0-14 and is really breaking families down. The more money you can donate, whether it’s £1,000 or just £5, the better life will be not just for children but for everyone in the UK who is living with cancer. If you don’t have money on hand, help raise it by selling old stuff you no longer need or by participating in local runs. Life is our most precious asset, so why not help someone out there live it to the fullest? Running For Her Life (Esther Onabanjo-Christ’s Hospital)

Fry Electronics Team

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