Doctor at Sue Ryder St John's Hospice in Moggerhanger takes on the London Marathon

Dr Nick will be running in memory of patients he has cared for at the hospice and to raise vital funds

By Newsdesk
Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 9:58 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 10:05 am

A doctor at Sue Ryder St John's Hospice is swapping his scrubs for running gear as he takes part in the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday in memory of patients he has cared for.

Nick Green, 46, who is a speciality doctor at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger, will be running in memory of patients he has cared for at the hospice and to raise funds so the palliative, neurological and bereavement care charity can be there for more families when it matters.

Dr Nick, as he is known by his colleagues at Sue Ryder, caught the running bug when taking part in Park Run, then progressed to a 10k race, then a half marathon.

Dr Nick Green, Speciality doctor at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger, is running this year's Virgin Money London Marathon

Wanting to raise funds to support the families he cares for, Dr Nick decided to go all in and enter the London Marathon.

With the run now just around the corner, he hopes the full 26.2 mile course won’t prove a step too far.

He said: “Running has been really good for my mental wellbeing, but I have to say the last month has seen the training really increase, so I have found things much harder.

"Trying to fit the longer runs and combining training with my work at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice and the GP surgery has become a real challenge.”

“It has also become more of a mental challenge too. Can I do this? Can I get round?”

“The pandemic has increased pressures and responsibilities for so many people in both their home and professional lives, but we have navigated through it and I am really looking forward to the London Marathon being a real celebration of everything we’ve achieved.”

“When people ask me what time I have in mind to complete the marathon in I say I want to have the best time I can out on the course. I really want to enjoy it.”

Dr Nick says it was his love of working at Sue Ryder, and the care that is given to patients, that inspired him to run and raise funds.

“There are so many things I love about Sue Ryder. I love the team I am part of. And I love the fact that we are able to make a tangible difference to patients and their families. Finally, I love that we can deliver healthcare in the way that it should be delivered. Sue Ryder’s care is truly holistic and very patient-centred.”

We try and celebrate life as much as possible

When Dr Nick tells people he works in palliative care he often gets the same reaction.

“There is often a slight pause, and then they say ‘that must be a really hard job. I don’t think I could do that,” he said.

“My response is to tell them there is a lot more positive things about working in palliative care than you might appreciate.

"Everyone in the hospice appreciates life can be uncertain, but we try and celebrate life as much as possible. There is probably more laughter in a hospice than you would imagine.

“I also like to tell people that about half the patients we work with actually don’t come in for an end of life admission - they come for a holistic review so we can help improve their symptoms, help improve their quality of life and help them forward plan so they can carry on living.

“I am inspired daily by people who face such challenges with such positivity. Being part of a team doing such a really worthwhile thing is its own reward. It’s an utter privilege to look after each person and their family that comes through our doors at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice.

'There's a 50 per cent chance I might cry'

Between caring for patients at the Sue Ryder hospice in Bedfordshire, seeing patients at the Cambridge GP Practice and family life, Dr Nick has been squeezing in marathon training at the weekends and in the evenings.

“Huge thanks to my wife Kate and my three daughters who have supported me every step of the way and have given me their blessing to go out running and put all the training in.

“I have covered 22 miles now in one run and my Sue Ryder running jersey is all ready with my name printed on the back. I just need to get out there and give it a go!”

Looking ahead to the day and imagining crossing the finish line, Dr Nick said: “When I cross that finish I think I’ll feel really pleased and relieved to have done it. I might also feel like I need a leg transplant!

“There’s a 50 per cent chance I might cry too - cry that I have actually done it and done it in memory of all those I have helped care for at Sue Ryder.”

“I really hope that after everything we have been through, this year’s London Marathon will be a real celebration of life. We have all been through so much over the past year. I am so grateful to be here and to give it a try.

“I am running this for the hospice and running in memory of the patients I have been honoured to care for.”

Through his London Marathon, Dr Nick hopes to raise £2,000 for Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice and is half way there already. To donate, visit his Just Giving page.