Kenilworth worker set to run in friend’s memory

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Louise Cross, a special needs support worker from Kenilworth, will be running in this year’s London Marathon in memory of a school friend who died of meningitis.

Louise Cross, a special needs support worker from Kenilworth, will be running in this year’s London Marathon in memory of a school friend who died of meningitis.

Louise went to school with Tom Wyatt who died from the illness in 2007, aged 17. They were fellow pupils at Heart of England School in Balsall Common.

“Tom caught this illness and, within a couple of days, he was sadly taken from us,” said Louise.

“Since he died his family have been ceaselessly fundraising for Meningitis Now and now, as one of his friends, I have set myself a challenge to run the London Marathon in his honour.

“Meningitis Now is the only charity I would consider running for and my target is to raise £1,800.”

Meningitis Now was formed in 2013 by bringing together Meningitis UK and the Meningitis Trust.

Louise, who lives in Coventry Road, runs with Kenilworth Runners and is training up to five times a week in preparation for the marathon, her first, on Sunday April 26.

“I can run a half-marathon, what’s another one on top?” joked Louise.

“My training has included three midweek sessions of hill training, speed sessions and a gentle run, as well as partaking in park runs on a Saturday followed by a long run on a Sunday.

“I’m building up from 10 miles to 22 miles, gradually increasing on a weekly basis.”

She added: “I would like to raise as much money as possible to help prevent any other family or group of friends having to go through what Tom’s family did.

“Not only will I be running the London Marathon, I will also be hosting other fundraising events.”

To raise money for Meningitis Now, Louise has been planning various other activities.

On Saturday March 7, she has arranged for a bingo night to be held at Keresley Rugby Club.

Just over a week later, on Sunday March 15, she will be hosting an aerobics session at the Positive Fitness studio in Balsall Common.

Louise will also be running a cake stall at the school where she works in Stratford.

Louise’s fundraising page is at www.justgiving.com