News

Martin House doctor runs Virtual London Marathon

01 October 2020
A doctor who cares for children with life-shortening conditions will run to raise money for them this weekend as she takes on the Virtual London Marathon.

Consultant in paediatric palliative medicine Dr Michelle Hills, who is interim chief medical officer at Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People, had won a place in this year’s London Marathon.

However, when the event was postponed and then cancelled, applied to take part in the Virtual London Marathon, which takes place on Sunday.

Dr Hills said: “I trained so hard for April, but coronavirus stopped it happening. I carried on training but then decided it wasn’t going to happen in October either so relaxed the training. Big mistake!

“As I opened my acceptance letter all I could think of was how unfit I am compared to previous years. But this is nothing compared to the struggles the children and families at Martin House face.

“I am privileged to work as a consultant in paediatric palliative medicine based at the hospice looking after babies, children and young adults with a huge range of life-limiting conditions. I will face this challenge head on and do my best for all of them.”

The hospice relies on fundraising for nearly 90 per cent of the £9 million it costs to run a year, and expects to lose £2.2 million this financial year due to the pandemic.

Dr Hills added: “Having trained down in Great Ormond Street, I want to be sure that children and young people in this area get access to the same specialist paediatric palliative medicine when they’re in hospital, at home or staying in the hospice itself.

“If I can make someone’s symptoms better, or help someone to have a peaceful death in a place of their choosing, I feel like I’ve made a positive difference. Martin House makes this possible by funding palliative care doctors to be available 24/7.”

To sponsor Dr Hills visit her fundraising page at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DrMichelle