Andrew Hughes, who is bringing up his five year old daughter Carys after his wife Claire died from cancer three years ago, is set for an attempt on the British non-stop running 24 hour record to raise funds for Macmillan Nurses and his daughter’s school at Broad Hinton.
Mrs Hughes was 31 when she died from cancer and her daughter was just two years old. Mr and Mrs Hughes were married in November 2007 and when they returned from their honeymoon found a letter saying there was concern over the results of a smear test.
Mr Hughes, a health and safety officer until he was forced to give up work to look after his daughter, said: “When we got back from a wonderful honeymoon there was this letter on the doormat saying the result of Claire’s smear test was dodgy.
“Our lives went downhill from there,” said Mr Hughes who lives in Post Office Lane in Broad Hinton.
His wife, who was a sous chef at the Wiltshire Hotel in Swindon, was diagnosed with cervical cancer and despite undergoing treatment her condition deteriorated and she died in September 2009 when, said Mr Hughes, they should have been planning their second wedding anniversary. He gave up work to look after Carys and says that financially his situation has been tough.
He is looking for a cheaper house to rent in the Broad Hinton area so that Carys can continue at the village school where she started in September.
Mr Hughes, 43, said: “She has had enough upset and trauma in her short life so whatever happens I want her to continue at Broad Hinton School where the staff have been marvellous.
“The people of Broad Hinton have been brilliant, I love the village and the countryside around and this is where we would like to stay,” he said.
The former King’s Troop soldier was a club runner but gave up the sport when he injured a foot and, although he would like to take it up again, said he could not afford a child minder.
Now he has been able to take up running again thanks to a treadmill on loan from Swindon Borough Council that has been installed in the school where he trains every morning in preparation for his British record attempt next Monday.
So far with the help of friends he has raised about £350 but said his target was £2,000; 75 per cent will go to Macmillan Nurses who looked after his wife when she was ill, and the other quarter to the village school.
The current British record for running on a treadmill for 24 hours is 135 miles and Mr Hughes said: “I am pretty sure I can do it although it’s not going to be easy; it’s a long time since I did any real running and the rules state you can only stop to go to the toilet.”
He said: “I want to bulk of the money to go Macmillan because they were brilliant with Claire.”
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