The mum of a caring 20-year-old who left a legacy for other teenagers before she lost her life to cancer will continue her fundraising when she takes on a running challenge with 50 supporters.
Jo Redman, from Bristol, is making sure that her daughter Ella’s memory is never forgotten by embarking on a fundraising campaign to raise £200,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Ella was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer in 2011 when she was just 18-years-old and spent many days in hospital to undergo treatment.
As Ella was 18, she was deemed too old to be treated in a children’s ward and felt quite lonely among adults who were a lot older than her.
After being told she was in remission, Ella embarked on a fundraising campaign with the Teenage Cancer Trust to raise £10,000 for a centre to be opened in Oncology Centre where teenagers could be treated.
When the cancer sadly returned, Ella tragically passed away when she was 20-years-old.
After losing Ella, her mum Jo and the rest of her family and friends were determined to carry on the fundraising for the charity that she was so passionate about.
Jo will join 50 other supporters at the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k when it returns to the city on Sunday 7 May, to try and make the final steps to her £200,000 target.
Jo, 57, said: “During Ella’s 18 month fight, she spent over 100 nights in hospital and found it quite a lonely experience because she was too old to be treated on a children’s ward.
“She often spent a lot of time with people who were a lot older than her and this made her passionate to want to improve the facilities for teenagers who were going through similar treatment.
“The Teenager Cancer Trust got in touch with Ella and they embarked on a campaign to raise between £5,000 and £10,000 towards opening a unit in Bristol to provide cancer care for people like her.
“Ella fought a very brave battle and the unit in Bristol would have made a huge difference to her experience of cancer. “We all supported her fundraising but sadly life took over and Ella became very ill and passed away quite soon after we found out the cancer had returned.
“We all got together as a group of friends and family and decided to continue Ella’s legacy to raise the money that she was aiming towards.
“Five years later we are approaching the £200,000 mark which is unbelievable. We hope that by completing the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k for the fourth year will take us past that target.”
Jo and a team of 50 others will take to the streets of Bristol for the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k.
The 10k running event will feature a scenic tour of the city centre where participants then travel along the Avon Gorge and under the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The event also features the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Family Run on the same day where children and their families can enjoy being active together.
Team Run For Ella will also be joined at the event by Ella’s cheering supporters, who Jo says are just as important as the runners taking part.
She added: “Ella came up with a lot of different ideas and suggestions during her fundraising and it’s quite funny because she hated running, she was much more artistic and creative.
“People have really thrown themselves behind supporting Ella’s legacy, whether it be through bake sales or by taking on a 10k running challenge.
“My work colleagues at SACO in Bristol have also been amazing in their support for the fundraising.
“Running is a great way to do something as a team and feel like you have completed a real challenge while raising a lot of money for a good cause.
“Some people are running, some are walking, some are cheering from the side lines but it is a team effort and makes a huge difference to teenage patients during their time in hospital.”
Support Team Ella’s fundraising here.
Entries for the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k and the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Family Run are open. Enter at: Greatrun.org/Bristol10k