Fundraising in Ann’s memory
Shona Maule has gotten out of bed, put on her sneakers and hit the road running every morning this month.
It’s not an easy exercise for the 21-year-old, who did not train for the feat and seriously injured her foot when she attempted a half-marathon a couple of years ago.
In May, however, she set a goal of running at least 100km (62.13 miles) during the month of June as a fundraiser for Pals.
Inspiration came from the care the charity gave her grandmother, Margaret “Ann” Maule, who died from cancer in March.
“I’ve always said I really want to train for a marathon, and do a marathon, but obviously that would take time,” Shona said. “Since Pals helped my granny, I wanted to do something.
“I wanted something that I could do in lockdown that would also challenge me, so I could raise money for Pals now instead of waiting. But I hope to do something in the future also, when the world is back to normal.”
A Girl Guide leader and schoolteacher, Mrs Maule was an active member of Emmanuel Methodist Church for many years.
The 85-year-old was also a keen gardener and swimmer, representing Bermuda in several competitions abroad.
“But she was just very, very loved on the island by a lot of people — by her church and all her students,” Shona said. “She was just a really, really amazing lady.”
Mrs Maule learnt last December that she had stage four cancer.
Initially admitted to hospital, her family were able to bring her home a month later with help from Pals.
“I flew home in January to help with that,” said Shona, who graduated from the Guildford School of Acting a year ago and had been working as a teacher in London, England, while she auditioned for roles in hopes of becoming a full-time actor.
“Pals gave her everything she needed, all the supplies, all the care, and really were incredible. I want other families to have that option; to have their loved ones at home because it’s such a different environment to the hospital.
“Being able to have loved ones around her, her dog around her, in a safe place ... it just made such a difference to her mental state and I want other families to have that opportunity.”
Also driving the cause was that her grandmother “would want to give back to those that helped her”, Shona said.
It’s with that in mind that she decided to launch a fundraiser for Pals, a charity that has cared for cancer patients since 1980.
On Facebook, she made an appeal to people to give whatever they could.
“I know for a lot of people money is tight right now, but if you could spare anything for an incredible charity, please do! (Also to make my aching muscles all worth it!)
“I know for a lot of runners and athletes out there, it might not seem like a big feat, but for a non-runner who hasn’t trained in years ... I assure you it is!”
She set off on June 1, mindful that her attempt at a half-marathon in the UK had landed her in A&E with a foot injury.
“I haven’t really run a lot since then, because of my foot, so it is a bit of a challenge, but I decided to do it without really any kind of training, without any runs beforehand. I decided to plunge straight into it and kind of see how I go.
“My foot and my hip are a little bit dodgy, but I’m just trying to stretch as much as possible and obviously look after my body. But I’ve been OK actually, surprisingly.”
Having run between four and five kilometres every day since, she is already past the halfway mark of her challenge
“I’m hoping to get over 100km because my friends are donating $1 for every 1km I run,” she said. “So I’m getting up early in the morning doing my run and just trying to motivate myself to do it every day, basically. During the end of the month, when I’m getting better I hope to do longer runs.”
Her mother, Lisa, has helped by joining her for some of her morning excursions.
“I’ve also got my best friend coming for some and other friends have offered to come, so I’ve got a lot of support, which is amazing.
“I think how it’s looking right now, I’ll probably reach 100km [in about ten days] maybe before, and then keep running because as long as I’m running I’m raising money.”
• To make a donation to Pals in memory of Ann Maule, go to “Donate Now” on pals.bm and put Shona’s Run in the notes. Alternatively, transfer funds to the charity’s Butterfield Bank US dollar account: 20-006-840-719330-200 or its Bermuda dollar account: 20-006-060-719330-100 and put Shona’s Run in the notes. It is also possible to contact Pals on 236-7257 with credit card details or mail a cheque to Pals, PO Box DV19, Devonshire DVBX
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