1 Nov 2023 Community
Aaron Bergin raises £2,000 for The Kirkwood in honour of best friend Ben
There are certain things in life which shows people have a real bond for each other. The Kirkwood movement enhances this belief with our togetherness and willingness to help anyone struggling with a life limiting illness.
Friendship can create a wonderful and strong bond and in the case of Aaron Bergin, 28 and Ben Christopher, 27 you have a friendship which despite facing traumatic circumstances it is showing the best of what humanity has to offer.
Ben Christopher was devastatingly diagnosed with cancer for a second time earlier this year and is now severely poorly in hospital. Ben has received support and care and had a short stay on our In-Patient Unit just a month ago. We are still supporting Ben and his family at this most difficult time. Aaron, who is Ben's best friend, went out to run the Manchester half marathon this year and raise funds for us. He managed to raise over £2,000 for us which was a magnificent effort.
Aaron completed the marathon in 1h 19 mins, meaning he beat his initial target 1h 26 minutes.
On the reason he wanted to run the half marathon Aaron said: "I've been racing for about three years now. Ben is a close friend from college who was diagnosed with throat cancer initially but now it has spread into most of his body. I wanted to help raise some money for The Kirkwood who has cared for Ben in this difficult time.
I entered the Manchester half marathon like I do every year. However this year I had a word with Ben and he was up for me running it in honour of The Kirkwood and to help raise some funds. I had an initial total of £500 but we beat that very quickly which was amazing.
"I'm really proud of what I have achieved but it's not about me. I was determined to get around it and beat my time. It spurred me on knowing there was money on the line as people had donated plus all the wonderful messages I had received.
"When I was running I thought of Ben all the time. If he can deal with this amount of pain then I can put my body through it for an hour and a half."
Aaron was devastated to learn of Ben's diagnosis and was pleased that The Kirkwood has cared for his friend.
He commented: "It was really hard when Ben told me he had got diagnosed with cancer. I was out of the country at the time working in my capacity as a chef. Ben told me it wasn't as severe as first thought, however we are now at a critical stage where he is not very well at all.
"I didn't know a lot about The Kirkwood but I have worked with other hospices before so I had an idea what The Kirkwood did when Ben went in there. It isn't like a hospital, it's a very caring environment.
"The Kirkwood is hugely important, the response of the staff is amazing in all departments. You can't fault anything about The Kirkwood. It's important people need to be aware that The Kirkwood is there and ready to help in whatever situations people might be in."
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