Emotional end to family's 10-day challenge in memory of daughter, Lucy

Laura Barr

Reporter:

Laura Barr

Email:

laura.barr@outlooknews.co.uk

SUNDAY, 10 November was an emotional day for the Parke family as they completed their final 5k a day for 10 days challenge in aid of NI Children’s Hospice remembering their precious daughter and sister, Lucy who would have been celebrating her 10th birthday on Sunday.

Lucy’s favourite place was Newcastle and her mum Stephanie and dad David felt that having their final run along the promenade would be the perfect setting to end their challenge.

Lucy’s family decided to take part in the challenge running 5k every day for the first 10 days of November.

An incredible amount of just over £3,000 has been raised so far, with more donations still coming in.

Money raised will go a long way to supporting the ‘I’m Coming Home’ appeal for the NI Children’s Hospice.

This appeal helps fund a bed which enables families to care for their child in the final days of life at the hospice or in their own home.

The bed is staffed by a team of highly-trained and experienced paediatric nurses who stay with the family and offer 24-hours-a-day care.

The Drumlee princess passed away on New Year’s Day 2018 and was the only child in Ireland with the rare genetic condition, progeria.

Lucy's parents David and Stephanie Parke ran 5k a day for 10 days in memory of their daughter, who passed away on New Year's Day 2018

Speaking to The Outlook yesterday (Monday), Stephanie said that while Lucy is in their thoughts all the time, the 10 days had been a lovely way of remembering her daughter.

Stephanie kept a record of how the 10-day challenge went and each day shared some pictures of Lucy on her Facebook page.

Stephanie who works as a teacher in Newcastle Primary School was joined by staff, parents and pupils on one of the days to complete the 5k.

Stephanie said it was lovely to be supported by the school on their beautiful afternoon run in Newcastle.

“Sunday was a day to remember Lucy, on her 10th birthday and keep her in our thoughts and prayers.

“We thought about what she would have been doing if she was here to celebrate it with all her family and friends.

“We just wish we could have gave her a hug and sang happy birthday to her and see her smile, but we are so thankful to God for her life and the many lives she touched.”

Stephanie and David were joined by family and friends over the course of the 10 days.

On Sunday, the group took off from beside the Slieve Donard Hotel on the promenade, running up to the harbour and looping back down again.

Runners were greeted with cheers from well wishers as they approached the finish and Lucy’s cousins who made a beautiful banner to support them.

A hot cup of tea heated up the runners on what was a very cold day in Newcastle.

“We would just like to thank everyone who took part throughout the 10 days and on Sunday,” Stephanie continued.

“I have received a lot of messages from different people and we had so many anonymous donations so I know that through sharing Lucy’s pictures on Facebook we have reached out to so many people.

“It’s been lovely knowing that Lucy’s smiling face has made so many other people smile last week too.

“We are just so thankful to everyone for their generosity and the money that we have raised will make such a difference to so many families.

“We would also like to thank everyone who has wished us well, donated to the challenge and everyone who has prayed for our family and Lucy over the last 10 years.”

Donations can still be made online at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stephanie-parke

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