Meet our marathon runners A dedicated team of seven runners are in training to take part in The Virgin London Marathon 2019 to raise funds for Haven House. Sunday 28 April 2019 will see the 39th London Marathon take place, with over 35,000 people expected to take on the 26.2 mile route around the iconic landmarks of London. Bradley Howe is hoping to complete the marathon in under four hours and will be running in memory of his son Harvey who died when he was 16-years-old. Harvey was born with a very rare genetic disorder (Glycogen storage disease type 4). It affected his liver and muscles causing weakness, fatigue and muscle loss. Slowly over the years Harvey deteriorated but still had a normal as possible life. In 2018, sadly it became too much for his heart. The Haven House Hospice at Home team gave us the confidence to nurse Harvey through to the end knowing that there was support available 24 hours a day. Harvey spent a night in the Haven House Butterfly suite after he passed away which allowed us more time to say goodbye. I am running the marathon to raise money for the hospice who supported Harvey and all our family during this very difficult time. Bradley Bradley has already surpassed his £2,000 fundraising target. Runner Natasha Elliot, 27, of Walthamstow, has always wanted to complete a marathon and chose to support Haven House after hearing about ‘the incredible work’ that the charity does to support children and families in the local area. Natasha has been supporting Haven House through the Woodford Women’s’ Institute, who chose the hospice as their charity of the year. Natasha, a business development assistant at law firm Baker McKenzie, said: I’ve always wanted to run a marathon, especially London. I’ve run on and off for a few years but never taken on such a big challenge. I’m most looking forward to all the supporters and running such an iconic event. I’m most dreading the blisters. Knowing that I’m running for Haven House and raising money for an amazing charity is the best motivation. Donate to Natasha's fundraising here. Mum-of-two Sara Leigh decided to sign-up for the marathon after hitting her 40th birthday and losing over two stone in weight. She heard about Haven House from a good friend who works at the hospice. Sara is looking forward to race day and will have lots of family and friends cheering her on including her brother from America. My two girls are very excited about their mum running the marathon. My motivation for running is the freedom and it's a great place where no-one is calling my name and I switch off. I switch off from the phone calling and I just collect my thoughts and listen to music. Sara, HainaultDonate to Sara's marathon fundraising. Matt Rowland, a tax advisor, says his motivation for running is to keep fit. Having completed the Prudential Ride 100 in 2016, Matt is swapping his cycling seat for running shoes. Matt, 32, had only ever run up to five miles before starting his training and has now exceeded over 15 miles. Matt has decided to support Haven House as he recognised the vital care they give to families in the local area. Matt Rowland's fundraising page. “Never again”, were the words of Lorna Ross when she completed her first London Marathon in 2010. But here she is taking on her second marathon challenge. I'm so privileged to be given the opportunity to run London again. I'm aware how lucky I am to be able to take on this challenge and have my two strong beautiful boys cheer me on. The staff at Haven House are the real heroes working every day to make lives better. Lorna Donate to support Lorna. Sujan Shah learnt about the ‘invaluable’ work of Haven House through his local Business Networking Group in Enfield. Despite the training being ‘suitably painful’ he is proud to be supporting his local children’s hospice. I believe there is only one true measure of success - happiness - and for me when my boys, Rhys and Arran came into my world, I really understood what true happiness is. With that in mind, the thought of any child suffering with a life threatening or limiting illness really does not bear thinking about. It puts the work that the team at Haven House do into chilling context. They believe in the best possible life for every baby, child and young person with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition and their families, who live in our local communities. If I have been able to touch your life, your generosity will mean the world to me. Matthew Palmer will be completing his second London marathon on Sunday 28 April. On both occasions Matt was fortunate to achieve his place in the ballot and chose to run for Haven House as a ‘local charity that does such exceptional work within the community.’ Matt said: “I am certainly not a natural distance runner being 100kg and I only started running to train for my first marathon at 37 – I know, I am a bit of a cliché! - So getting up to marathon distance each time has been a genuine effort. Each of my longer weekend training runs has taken me past Haven House and the longer those runs became and the deeper you have to dig, the greater the motivation running for such an inspirational institution provides. Thinking of the families Haven House help will certainly be a source of added determination on Marathon day.” Donate to support Matt Read more about the children and families we help during difficult and sometimes unimaginable times.