A grandmother from the Isle of Wight will be taking on the Virgin London Marathon later this month in memory of her granddaughter, who died just before birth. Karen Tuckwell’s daughter Kerrie was pregnant with her third child back in 2013 when she had complications and lost the baby in her last few weeks. They named the baby – who also had Down’s syndrome – Harriet.
“Losing my granddaughter was one of the hardest things to go through but to watch my daughter go through it was even harder. Afters some time, we decided we wanted to raise money for the Down’s Syndrome Association and do something to remember Harriet by. We booked our first race and have never looked back.
I hope to do everyone proud and will be running with Harriet in my heart.”
Karen says running helps her feel close to Harriet and it has now become her passion. “It takes me away from life and I can just breathe and be carefree for a while.” The race in London on 28 April will be her second marathon, but the first one she’s done without her daughter by her side.
“I have always trained and raced with Kerrie so to be doing the London Marathon on my own is very nerve racking. I know Kerrie is very proud of me for running the marathon but also doing it for Harriet. She has been through so much, having to bring up her two young daughters whilst grieving for the loss of her baby. She is so very strong and I hope I do her proud.”
Kerrie, who works for a Special Education Needs (SEN) school on the Island, is equally proud of her mum.
“I can’t really describe how overwhelming proud I am of my mum.
She finds training hard and has had a few injuries to deal with but she never gives up. I know she is very anxious about the big day as she has never entered a run without me. It’s usually something that we do together so this is a big thing.
We started running when we lost Harriet and it was her way of getting me out of the house.”
Karen says it’s Kerrie who always sets the runs around the Island, and often she has no idea where they are going.
“I never know where we are going to end up – it’s like a mystery tour! We got lost in a forest once and had to ring my husband for help and he had to come and find us. We have such a great time together running.”
Karen has already smashed her £500 fundraising target.
“Apart from Harriet being born with Down’s syndrome and us sadly not being able to support her through her life, I would love to help others who need extra help to get the support they need. Kerrie works with children with Downs syndrome here on the Island and she just bursts with pride. I want to be able to give something back to a cause close to my heart.”
Karen will be running the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday 28th April and can be sponsored via the link below.