West Sussex firefighters complete London Marathon

Three firefighters from West Sussex raised a combined £4,400 as they took part in the London Marathon.

Group manager Andy Piller, firefighter Stewart Ellaby and former firefighter Paul Weller all completed the marathon on Sunday, October 3 for causes close to their hearts.

A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said, “Paul served at Haywards Heath Fire Station, before having to leave in 2012 due to a life-changing ankle injury. He has since had 11 operations and a full ankle replacement.

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“Three years after having to leave the service, Paul was diagnosed with PTSD following the deaths of his two best friends. The Fire Fighters Charity was able to provide counselling, rehabilitation and continuous support to improve Paul’s health, both physically and mentally.

The three West Sussex firefighters who completed the London Marathon. Picture from West Sussex County Council SUS-210510-175033001

“After originally being told he would never run again, Paul decided to run the marathon – whilst wearing a breathing apparatus – for The Fire Fighters Charity and raised over £2,300.”

Mr Ellaby also ran the marathon for The Fire Fighters Charity and finished in 3:23:55.

Mr Ellaby said, “Completing the marathon was an absolutely amazing experience and I feel so proud to have raised over £1,000 for such a worthy cause.

“In the four-and-a-half years that I’ve worked for the fire service, I have attended 14 fatal incidents. Fortunately, I’ve dealt with it okay, but that’s not to say that one day I won’t need to call upon the charity for support.”

Mr Piller, western group manager, chose to raise money for Leukaemia Busters after losing his best friend Richard Williams to acute myeloid leukaemia at the age of 29 in 2010.

According to the spokesperson, over the past 11 years Mr Piller has raised £44,000 for the charity through taking part in various challenges, and his London Marathon efforts have added another £1,000 to that figure.

He said, “As practical as shorts and a t-shirt would have been for the marathon, I decided it would only be fitting to do the run in a Ghostbusters outfit, tying in with the name of the charity.

“Leukaemia Busters is extremely close to my heart and I will never stop doing everything I can to keep Richard’s memory alive and help find a cure for the cruel disease.”