A scientist showcased her flair for running when she took part in the Virgin London Marathon in memory of her grandma to raise money for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.
Laura realised her ambition to honour the memory of her late grandma, Emily Port, by participating in the world’s biggest road race in the capital on Sunday 28 April.
The 35-year-old is now proudly wearing her medal after completing the 26.2-mile run in four hours 29 minutes.
Laura, of Troon Walk, Dinnington, said: “The marathon has been a fantastic experience. I was really nervous during the train journey into London but I met some people from Sheffield along the way, which was a nice surprise, and by the time I got to the start line I was ready to give it my best shot.
“The route was lined with people cheering everyone on irrespective of the charities we were running for, which created a wonderful atmosphere and spurred me on. I kept a steady pace all the way along the route and then sprinted the last 200 metres and that’s when I really felt that my grandma was with me.
“I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved and I certainly feel I’ve done what I set out to do, which is honour my grandma’s memory and to raise more money than I could have imagined for a charity which is close to my heart.”
Laura’s marathon efforts helped to raise more than £2,000 for the charity’s Purple Butterfly Appeal.
The charity set up the appeal to raise awareness about the importance of providing compassionate and specialist end of life care and to fundraise for Purple Butterfly rooms. The rooms provide privacy, dignity, space and a home-from-home for people nearing the end of their lives, their families, friends and carers.
The Trust has three Purple Butterfly rooms at Rotherham Hospital on Ward A2, the Fitzwilliam Ward and the Labour Ward with plans for a fourth.
The cause is close to Laura’s heart after her grandma spent her final days in the Purple Butterfly room on the Fitzwilliam Ward where she passed away aged 88 six years ago.
“I was determined to do the marathon because the Purple Butterfly room was such a comfort to me and my family during a difficult time. Losing someone you love is a terrible feeling but being in the Purple Butterfly room together as a family is one of my most treasured memories. Although it was sad, it was also beautiful because we were able to spend to time together as a family when it really mattered,” Laura added.
The London Marathon is one of the top six international marathons in the world. Runners began the iconic route in Greenwich before heading past iconic sights such as Canary Wharf, London Bridge, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace before heading to the finish line on The Mall.
Laura, an Advanced Biomedical Scientist at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, began training for the marathon in January 2019 with an early morning alarm set for 4.45am most weekdays in order to fit the miles in.
Barry Mellor, Chair of the Charitable Funds Committee, said: “Watching the tens of thousands of people running the London Marathon is always a humbling experience and we were incredibly proud to know that Laura was amongst the crowd fundraising for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.
“The dedication Laura has shown to her fundraising and training, especially all those early morning training runs, has been inspirational. Thank you to everyone who has supported and sponsored her along the way.”
There is still time to sponsor Laura by visiting her JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/laura-lee83