London Marathon: Andy Elms to run in memory of brother Tim who died just three months ago
Andy Elms' devotion to his inspirational younger brother Tim will give him ample motivation in Sunday's London Marathon.
Father-of-two Andy, 38, is raising money for two causes close to his heart in memory of Tim, who died last year aged just 33. Their father, Bob, is a consultant and former partner with Bishop's Stortford solicitors Tees Law.
"Tim was taken ill towards the end of 2017 with pneumonia in one of his lungs," said Andy. "Despite a long fight and a number of weeks in intensive care, he was very sadly unable to recover from this and he passed away in the middle of January."
Andy is running in aid of the Maypole House Charitable Fund and the Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity Critical Care Unit Fund.
"Tim was a truly special and unique person with an infectious personality," Andy said. “He faced many challenges over his lifetime, being diagnosed with hydrocephalus and later severe epilepsy, and had to cope with all the complications these conditions brought."
"He loved people and people loved him. Tim had that rarest of qualities that people would meet him just the once and they would remember him, and for all the right reasons.”
Tim attended St Elizabeth's Centre in Perry Green, which provides education, care and medical support for people of all ages with epilepsy and other complex needs.
While the brothers were growing up, their family home was in Great Dunmow, and Andy has many friends in Bishop's Stortford.
His lawyer father, Bob, has been associated with Tees for more than 40 years. "I used to play cricket for Tees in their summer office cricket league," said Andy.
He works as a senior finance manager at Avalon Entertainment and lives in Datchet, Berkshire, with wife Hazel and children Freya, 8, and Barney, 6.
Andy admits that he is not a natural runner. "I'd completed the Windsor half marathon on a couple of occasions and have done a couple of half marathons as part of my training, but I've never run anywhere near a marathon before and I’m feeling very daunted by it," he said.
But the thought of raising thousands for his two chosen causes spurs him on.
"The critical care unit at Colchester Hospital is where Tim spent his last few weeks. The care he received there was exceptional and was the NHS at its absolute best," said Andy.
"It would mean the world to me to be able to donate much-needed funds to the unit, for them to continue the great work they do and to say thank you to them for everything they did for Tim.”
The Maypole House Charitable Fund provides respite services for the carers and families of children and adults with disabilities.
The fund was set up with the help of charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF) following the transfer of money raised in the Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow areas by a charity called ResCU (Respite Care in Uttlesford).
ResCU’s initial aim was to build a respite care centre called Maypole House. But when it was realised that this could not be achieved, the decision was taken to close the charity and create the fund, enabling the money raised to be used as intended.
"This charity is particularly personal to me as my family were actively involved in running ResCU for over 20 years," said Andy.
He wants to raise at least £1,000 for each cause. To sponsor him, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/running4Tim