Tuff Legs team raises £3k for kids’ hospice

The Marshall Tuff Legs team with Demelza supporters
The Marshall Tuff Legs team with Demelza supporters

A group of seven runners from Hastings company Marshall-Tufflex raised more than £3,200 for a children’s charity and helped one of their members accomplish a lifetime achievement.

Hannah Hayler, Josh Hayler, Rachael White, Annette Fry, Helen Munday, Lawrence Glaze and Joe Johnson all completed the Hastings Half Marathon, raising the cash for East Sussex charity Demelza Hospice Care for Children, which is currently caring for more than 20 youngsters in Hastings and St Leonards.

I’m so proud of everything they have achieved

Hannah Hayler

The achievement was especially poignant for team trainer Hannah, whose 17-year-old son Josh was diagnosed with Perthes Disease aged just three years.

Perthes Disease is a condition where the top of the thigh bone in the hip joint softens and breaks down. It occurs in some children and causes a limp and other symptoms. The condition usually begins with hip or groin pain, or a limp. Sometimes knee pain is the first symptom. The pain persists and there may be wasting of the muscles in the upper thigh, shortening of the leg and stiffness of the hip, which can restrict movement and cause problems with walking.

Hannah said: “I was told by doctors that Josh would be disabled by his condition and would never excel in sports. So for him to even run that distance is a miracle but to do it in one hour and 54 minutes is totally awesome. My overall highlight of the day was running the whole way with him. He is a miracle.”

The team, running as Marshall Tuff Legs, raced home in times ranging from one hour 54 minutes to two hours 23 minutes. Hannah, who is running the London Marathon in April for Demelza, trained the squad, some from scratch, over five months and was delighted with their performances. She said: “I am lost for words, I’m so proud of everything they have achieved. Seeing them cheer each other on was amazing and very emotional. Words cannot explain how proud I am of each one of them.”

Julie Brett, Demelza community fundraiser, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled with how well the team did. Raising more than £3,200 is a fantastic achievement that will go a long way in helping us provide hospice care for children and families in desperate need of our support. I’d like to say a huge thank you to the Marshall Tuff Legs team and to everyone who supported them.”

To support Hannah’s London Marathon run visit www.justgiving.com/Marshall-tufflegs.