More than 20 members of The Penkridge Running Club signed up to the Donna Louise’s 5k and 10k fun run to raise money for the local Hospice.

The members ran in memory of 10 year old Jade Hayward who sadly died from an aggressive form of cancer in 2005. Three members of the running club chose to support The Donna Louise as they are close friends of Jade’s family, who were supported by the hospice during her illness and following her death.

Jade’s family explained, “Jade was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer, in 2001 at the age of 6 and sadly passed away in 2005, aged just 10. She is our inspiration and is loved and missed every day. Jade visited the hospice just before she passed away, she loved it and was so relaxed in the time she spent there. The support from the staff was truly amazing. On the day we lost Jade we didn’t know what was to happen next but her community nurses gave us some options, one was taking her to the hospice. We chose to take her there as we couldn’t bear the thought of her being at a funeral directors.

On arrival to the hospice we were greeted by staff at a separate entrance and taken to a bedroom where we lay Jade in a bed. Next door was a sitting room leading out into a garden all of which was completely isolated from the hospice giving complete privacy. We were given a family room in which to stay whilst Jade was there. Here our family and friends could visit Jade if they so wished, again the staff were there to support us all. We are and always will be forever grateful for all their care and support. Even to this day as we attend their yearly memory days to remember each child that has passed away.”

Each year since her death, Jade’s family and friends have taken part in the Donna Louise’s annual fun run at Trentham Gardens to raise money for the hospice. One of the Penkridge Runners, Tasha Preece, went to school with Jade and it was her, along with Shaun Preece and Paula Kimberley, who are all close friends of the family, who suggested that the runners support the Donna Louise. Our inspiration, motivation and enthusiasm for the run was be fuelled by the memory of Jade Hayward’s brave battle and the desire to ensure other unfortunate families benefit from the incredible work of The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice for years to come.