Santa Dash 2010: Cancer patients urge runners to sign up
Nov 18 2010 Craig Mcqueen
FROM having fun to getting into the Christmas spirit, there are plenty of reasons to get involved in the Santa Dash 2010.
But anyone in need of more motivation should look at the Marie Curie hospice in
The £16 million centre opened its doors in the grounds of the city's
It will benefit from the funds raised at this year's Santa Dash, which takes place in
The event, a five kilometre run through
Last year's Santa Dash saw 3300 people take part and organisers are hoping 4000 will register this year.
And the money raised will make a huge difference to the hospice.
With 30 beds, the centre offers inpatient care and a range of vital day services.
Bill McAtear, from Auchinloch in Lanarkshire, is receiving respite care after being diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago.
He said: "There isn't any chemotherapy suitable so I've been getting other forms of medication, and I've come in for a week's respite care because my wife Jessie is having a knee replacement at the moment.
"It really is a marvellous facility and the staff are absolutely wonderful people. I can't praise them enough."
Bill, 85, hopes this year's Santa Dash will boost the hospice's work.
He said: "The work that is done here is so important, and funding is needed so that work can continue. It is essential we have places like this.
"It helps you stay positive, and the staff have a great sense of humour, which is essential. There's always something you can joke or laugh about."
Many of the centre's staff will be taking part in the Santa Dash.
Staff nurse Marisa Rafferty will be taking part with care assistants Anisa Bahja and Rosemary Young. Marisa, from Johnstone in Renfrewshire, said: "The chances are most will be walking it rather than running it.
"It's an important day for us as we want to be able to continue providing services to the people who need them."
Anisa added: "When people think of a hospice they often have quite negative ideas of what it will be like, but the Marie Curie hospice is actually a very happy place, and it's a happy place to work in as well."
Day patient Robert Bradley, 51, from
He has been taking part in the hospice's eight-week Hope programme - Helping Optimise People's Energy.
Robert said: "It's been helping me a lot. It helps loosen up your muscles and bones.
"Meeting other people in a similar situation as you also definitely helps. They've been through similar experiences and so it can be useful to get their slant on things.
"They do a lot here and it's a brilliant place to come to. I'd love to be able to take part in the Santa Dash. It would be good to see as many people as possible going along."
Many of the hospice's volunteers will also be donning their Santa suits next month.
Bobby Hetherington, 77, from
He will travel to
He said: "After I retired I didn't want to sit and do nothing.
"I honestly don't feel that what I do is a lot of work. It's just that I always want to be doing something, and there's always money that needs to be raised.
"That's why I'm hoping that the Santa Dash will be a really great occasion and that a lot of people come along to it.
"The staff do a wonderful job and that's why I do what I can to support them."'
:: The Santa Dash 2010 takes place in