A woman from Bedfordshire whose daughter died from sepsis when she was just five years old says taking on the London Marathon at the end of the month will be an “epic and emotional” journey. Wendy Feugard says she’s determined to get around the 26.2 mile challenge, and will be thinking of her daughter Alice as she crosses the line.
“This is my first Marathon and at 56 I am considered a veteran! I am not an elite athlete, more of a “plodder”, however I am 100% committed to finishing and I will have the biggest smile on my face when I cross that line, thinking of Alice.”
Wendy will be raising money for the Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA). Her journey with the charity began in 1996 when her first daughter Alice was born.
“We were told some time after Alice was born that she had Down’s syndrome. This was preceded by “we are very sorry” and a negative picture was laid before us. We were given little support and a leaflet from the DSA.”
Alice also had Tetralogy of Fallot and was a fairly poorly infant. Wendy says feeling hopeless and a little lost being a first time mum, she contacted the DSA for support.
“We were given accurate and professional advice in a friendly and supportive manner. They also supported us through the benefit minefield and throughout Alice’s two cardiac surgeries. The DSA provide invaluable information and support for people with Down’s syndrome, their families, carers and professionals.
The DSA is a wonderful advocate in promoting that all people with Down’s syndrome need to live full and rewarding lives. They have some wonderful projects such as the “Tell it Right ®” campaign, which educates professionals to give accurate and balanced information to parents who have been given a Down’s syndrome diagnosis for their new baby”.
Wendy describes Alice as “a delight of a daughter with a lovely character”.
“Not only was Alice loving and determined, she had a mischievous streak in her which she always seemed to find amusing. She could be very cheeky and had a lovely smile.”
Alice attended a mainstream village school, and her favourite pastimes were watching chimpanzees on the TV and dancing.
When Alice died in 2001, Wendy says it changed the lives of her family and those that loved Alice forever. She says they wanted something positive to focus on and decided to start fundraising for the charity. As a family, they have now raised more than £12,000 to date.
“I stared fundraising with a few 5k runs, gradually progressing to 10k then in 2017 I did the Great North Run. I also did a skydive and along with my brother, held an auction.
I am so thankful for all the support from the DSA and of course my wonderful friends and family who are all amazing with their support for my fundraising. I am proud to continue to be a member of the DSA and help raise vital funds for children like Alice.”
Wendy will run the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday 28th April, and you can sponsor her via the link below.