Matthew is running the iconic London Marathon to raise vital funds and awareness for a local children’s charity, The Pepper Foundation in Bucks. This small charity is dedicated to giving children with complex, life-limiting conditions the best possible life – no matter how short that life might be.
The other source of inspiration to Matthew is his Dad, Roy, whose own running days were cut short by a life-changing car accident. He has spurred Mathew on throughout his winter training and could not be more proud.
KEEP ON RUNNING
The next time you visit Aston Hearing’s Amersham practice, take a look at the corner of the cloakroom area. There sits a pair of running trainers, prepped and ready for yet another outing.
The owner – Matthew Ball (Audiologist) – is not just donning these trainers in an attempt to stay on top of his fitness, but to change children’s lives.
Matthew is preparing to run the iconic London Marathon in 2020 to raise vital funds and awareness for a local children’s charity. Read his story below…
Having toyed with the idea of running a marathon for a number of years, Matthew believes the time is right for two very significant reasons:
- The cause he is running for – The Pepper Foundation
The Pepper Foundation is a small, local charity that helps to fund Hospice at Home care for children in Bucks and Herts. The charity is dedicated to giving children with complex, life-limiting conditions the best possible life – no matter how short that life might be.
Matthew’s partner works with this very special organisation, and he has seen first-hand how much of a difference Pepper makes to the lives of families in the most unthinkable situation.
“I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of the families receiving this care, and to say it is a lifeline would be a huge understatement. The charity deserves so much recognition and I will be running in the name of Pepper with pride.”
The man behind the inspiration – His Father
Matthew’s Dad – Roy – was a prolific runner, completing no less than 27 marathons. Sadly his running days were cut short by a life-changing car accident, so the baton has now been passed to Matthew.
When Matthew was offered the place in the London Marathon back in November 2019, his first thought was to seek advice from his Dad. Not surprisingly, he was very enthusiastic and gave him the confidence to enter.
“As much as he keeps threatening to run with me, I have instead promoted him to head coach”, Matthew says with a smile. “With a bit of luck, it’s in the genes!”
The training starts
The very same day Matthew heard the news of his charity place, he set out on the roads to do his first run – a slow and careful three miles. But this was only the start.
Behind every committed marathon runner is a strict training regime to slowly build up the distance towards the 26.2 mile target. It seemed a daunting task at first, especially trying to fit the schedule around his work as an Audiologist and a busy family life.
The training has involved much running after hours in the dark as well as at the weekends, but Matthew has grown to love it and looks forward to each run. Even challenging weather conditions such as storms Ciara and Dennis have not slowed his progress:
“Wind, rain or even the occasional storm has not put me off. I simply think of the reasons why I’m doing this and they spur me on.”
Matthew has clocked up a few hundred training miles to date and reached a longest distance of 16 miles so far – and everyone at Aston Hearing is supporting him all the way.
Meet a family that will benefit from Matthew’s Marathon
This is Jessica (on her father’s lap) and her family, from High Wycombe. Jessica has Leigh Syndrome, a disease that means her cells are dying because they have insufficient energy to keep functioning.
Thanks to a tailored and detailed service for Jessica, the nurses are able to provide 24/7 on-call care – as well as regular visits to monitor her condition and to give her family some much needed respite. This is all free of charge for the family – all thanks to fundraisers like Matthew.
Jessica’s Mum, Vicky says:
“We know that her condition means that her brain could suddenly stop telling her body to breathe, but we need to give her a life that’s as ‘normal’ – and as special – as possible. The nurses that Pepper help to fund have given us the confidence and the expertise to make the most of every minute. And that is a priceless gift.”
Donate to Matthew’s Marathon
Every penny donated will be hugely appreciated by Matthew and this wonderful cause. Please give whatever you can afford to Matthew’s Marathon page here to help him reach his target, and to help more families like Jessica’s in the local area.