Yorkshire mum, 50, takes on an ultra marathon for the hospital that saved her son’s life

Julie Bembridge is taking on a 100-mile ultra-marathon to raise money for the hospital that saved her boy’s life. Catherine Scott reports.

Julie Bainbridge who is doing an ultra marathon for the Children's Hospital Sheffield

Sheffield woman Julie Bembridge is in training to run a staggering continuous 100-mile ultra-marathon in July to raise money for the refurbishment of Ward 6 at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Ward 6 cares for children and teenagers with cancer and blood disorders, and is where Julie’s son, Stan, has been receiving treatment for three years and three months following his leukaemia diagnosis.

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Stan, a pupil at Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School, was 12 years old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in December 2017.

Julie is running for her son Stan

As the shock of the diagnosis sank in, Julie – a keen runner – vowed to undertake a challenge of her own and pledged to tackle a continuous 100-mile ultra-marathon once his treatment came to an end.

In March, Stan’s gruelling treatment ended, just a few weeks before his 16th birthday.

True to her promise, Julie has been in intense training since November 2020. She expects to complete up to 15 hours of running each week at the height of her training in preparation for her challenge.

Julie hopes that by embarking on this incredible running challenge, people will be inspired to make a donation and help raise the vital funds needed for the refurbishment costs.

Sadly, children sometimes spend many months on the ward whilst they undergo their treatment.

“In addition to raising vital funds for the hospital, I’m running to honour of all the children treated on the ward and to thank the staff for their care for Stan” explains Julie.

“I’m also running for Stan, who has shown remarkable courage and strength throughout his diagnosis and treatment. I am just so proud of him.”

Julie’s challenge will begin on Friday July 23, and she hopes to complete the run the following day – which coincides with her 51st birthday.

Her route will begin and end at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

The route is mainly off road. Heading out to Dronfield, once there she will get onto the circular Chesterfield Round route.

Once back at Dronfield she will then get onto the circular Sheffield Way.

The final miles after finishing the Sheffield Way will be to head back to the hospital via Woodseats.