Stephen’s heroic run in memory of “incredible” sister-in-law Amanda
East Kilbride man Stephen Connelly ran the Edinburgh half marathon last month in memory of his “incredible” sister-in-law Amanda Wright, who was cared for at St Margaret of Scotland Hospice.
We spoke to Stephen’s wife Emma – Amanda’s sister – to hear the heartbreaking and heartwarming story behind his momentous effort.
Since Amanda’s passing in 2014, the family have been involved in various activities to support the Hospice, including taking part in the Midnight Walk.
Emma, 38, said: “Amanda died at the Hospice in January 2014. She was in her early 40s. She’d had a brain tumour for six years and kept getting infections in her ear before she was taken in.
“The care she was given at the Hospice was wonderful. I couldn’t praise the people there highly enough. They made sure she was comfortable and that she was never distressed or upset.
“The way Amanda dealt with it… it’s just how she was. She was incredible.”
Stephen and Emma both work for ACCA, the professional accountancy body, and are originally from Milngavie.
They have a son Matthew, aged four, who played a vital part in the race day.
Describing the emotional occasion as Stephen, 34, approached the finish line on May 28, Emma said: “We were there to cheer him on. Stephen lifted Matthew over the barrier so that he could cross the line with him. Matthew was overwhelmed by it all – the crowds and the noise!
“It was all really emotional. Amanda would have found it really amusing.
“I was in tears and the end and I hadn’t done the run! I was so proud of Stephen. He worked so hard for it.
“Afterwards, Stephen was absolutely shattered. The race started at 8am, which is really early for a half marathon, so he had to be up at 5am to give him enough time to have something to eat.
“He had run one half marathon before, in Glasgow last October, before doing this one for charity. He’s been running for the last two years and has done a few 10Ks.”
Through his JustGiving page and other donations from friends and family, Stephen has raised more than £1200, which will go directly towards the care and support of patients at the Hospice and their loved ones.
And after the generosity shown by their family and friends for Stephen’s run – including from their employers, who Emma described as “very supportive” – they are determined to do even more.
If you would like to back Stephen’s fundraising effort, please go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Stephen-Connelly1