A bereaved mother has set herself the challenge to run her third 10K in three months in memory of her late daughter, Hope. Julie Rooms, from Swanland in East Yorkshire, will be running the York 10K this August to raise even more money for the Yorkshire children’s cancer charity, Candlelighters.
Hope was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive form of muscle cancer, in February 2014 at the age of twelve and sadly died in February this year. Only months after Hope’s passing, Julie ran both the Hull 10K and the Leeds 10K in June and July respectively. The York 10K is her third challenge in three months and signifies the strength of Julie’s pledge to keeping Hope’s memory alive.
Speaking to Candlelighters, Julie said: “I am doing the 10K because I was a runner before Hope became ill and I promised her I would survive and live a normal life, so every 10K shows I am doing this. Furthermore, every 10K keeps Hope’s memory alive for all. The York 10K is particularly poignant as it would have been my nana’s 102nd birthday, so I am running it for them both.”
Prior to Hope’s birth, Julie and her husband David spent six years trying for a baby and, during that time, suffered one miscarriage. When Hope was finally born, the name the couple chose reflected their joy. Even throughout her treatment, Hope’s sunny attitude shone through. Julie recalls how, when she lost her hair after chemo, Hope joked that she’d always hated brushing it anyway. Similarly, when she was too weak to walk, Hope laughed that she’d enjoy being pushed round in a wheelchair all day. The evening after she went to the cinema with her boyfriend, Hope passed away in her bed at home, snuggled up with the family dog, Pippa. Julie checked on her the next morning to find her still smiling. Julie noted: “Even in her final moments, she was smiling. We couldn’t ask for more than that.”
During Hope’s treatment, Candlelighters were able to help the family. When Hope was diagnosed, a social worker from the charity sat down and talked Hope through her condition, when her parents could not find the words to explain it. Hope became a firm member of the Candlelighters family, and was invited on a holiday to Center Parcs, a trip funded by the charity. Sadly, she passed away a month before the family were able to go on holiday.
Months after Hope’s death, Julie and David are tirelessly devoting their time and energy to helping Candlelighters provide support for other families facing children’s cancer.
Could you help them out? Candlelighters are looking for runners for the York 10K on Sunday 7th August. Join Julie in remembering Hope, and call our Events Fundraiser on 0113 3229283 to book a place.
Donations in memory of Hope and towards Julie’s challenge can also be made by phone or at www.candlelighters.org.uk.