Alex: “I want to use my dad’s strength and passion to run 2.5 marathons for the Charity”

Alex Abrams, 23, is taking on two and a half marathons this year in memory of her dad, who died suddenly at work in November 2022. Here she shares why supporting our charity meant so much to him – and now to her as well…

For Alex Abrams, running the 2023 London Marathon has particular significance – as it’s in memory of her firefighter dad, Darren

Darren passed away suddenly in November 2022 at the age of 54. He was a firefighter with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Alex is now preparing to run the London Marathon, then the Leeds Marathon and finally the Great North Run in his memory – with all the money she raises from each coming to us, as a thank you for the support we offered him during his career, and as a way of raising awareness of the work we do with the whole fire services community.

“My dad had always been the fittest for 54, you wouldn’t think he was the age he was! He was so young,” says Alex.

“He absolutely loved his job and that’s something he always drilled into me – find a job that you really enjoy and you’ll never feel that you work a day in your life. So having any time off for him was hard.”

Darren took part in fundraisers throughout his career, so Alex knows what supporting us meant to him.

“This is the first time I’ve really experienced grief, certainly on this scale, and it really comes in waves,” says Alex. “Some days the waves are big, some days they’re small and some days there’s no waves, but it’s always there.

“You can’t really just carry on… the thing that’s making me push through and do these marathons is using my dad’s strength to be like, ‘I have to now go on and live life for my dad and live the life that he gave me until I hopefully see him again one day’.”

Alex first got into running during university, while studying musical theatre. Since then, she’s discovered a real love for it – and it’s something her dad had watched her do with pride.

“I’ll be running the London Marathon and then, three weeks later, the Leeds Marathon. Then later in the year I’m going to run the Great North Run,” she says.

Choosing to support our charity came easily to Alex too, knowing we’re the main source of support for his colleagues in the future.

“Knowing the Charity is there for people like my dad and their families is so important,” says Alex.

“I’m so thankful to know that my dad was part of – and forever will be part of – such an amazing team of people. They’re there to help people in their communities, and that’s what the charity does as well. It’s there to help and support and improve people’s lives.

“This is a charity that should absolutely be just as big as all the big ones that people hear of – it’s providing so much support for people. I think it can be overlooked sometimes…

“It takes a certain type of person to be able to put their life on the line every day to help others, and I now want to use my dad’s strength and passion and drive to run these runs and bring more awareness to this Charity… to better my life and, by doing that, hopefully better others’.”

Alex’s step-mum Emma adds: “Alex is doing absolutely amazing running the marathon in memory of her dad and raising funds to support your charity. Her dad would certainly be very proud of her as he always was of Alex and his other three children, Oliver, William and Emily.

“We are all immensely proud of her for doing this and it is helping give her a purpose, focus and doing good for others which hopefully will help her to feel better in herself too.”

To support Alex’s fundraising, click here.

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