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Epping man signs up for Virtual London marathon in father’s memory

10 Sep Epping man signs up for Virtual London marathon in father’s memory

An Epping man overcame injury and COVID-19, besides having a new baby daughter, and still managed to train and fundraise throughout lockdown for the Virtual London marathon, on 3 October, in memory of his father.

Scott Calver, 31, sadly lost his father, who lived with FSHD muscular dystrophy, to COVID-19. Following his passing, he signed up for the London Marathon 2020 after it was postponed from April to this October.

His sister Beth had already registered for a place and so far they have raised almost £17,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Scott is an accountant for the London Stock Exchange where, he said, colleagues have been incredibly supportive.

For the virtual event they’ll be honouring their dad by covering the 26.2 mile distance from Epping (where Scott lives) to Beckenham, where they grew up. On route they’re planning to run past the house where their dad grew up, in Peckham.

Scott said he is supporting MDUK because: “My dad, Martin Calver, was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when he finally retired at the age of 60. It is a debilitating disease and we saw over time how it affected him physically, losing the ability to walk long distances or take part in the sports he loved. He didn’t let it change his quality of life and always did what he wanted to do with a smile on his face, even if it was painful for him. He also began to raise money for MDUK and as a family we were all actively involved in helping raise awareness and funds to help fund the research into finding a cure.

“It is a genetic disease which means there is a likelihood that myself or even my children could be impacted by the disease. Although COVID 19 was the ultimate cause of death for my dad, his condition made it difficult for him to fight. The inability to swallow food or liquids was an issue.”

He added: “Like my dad I love sports and keeping active and I appreciate the importance of this on your physical and mental wellbeing. In January this year we had my daughter, Ivy, who was the first grandchild in the family. My dad adored her and I want to provide for and bring her up like my dad did me.”

Scott will be wearing the #TeamOrange shirt on the day which he hopes will help him stand out from the crowds and help people to see him as he runs from Essex to Kent through London.

“I plan to add a donation number for people to text and donate and raise awareness for the charity. MDUK is a great charity that funds important research and helps those who need it and for them it can be difficult to sometimes standout from the “bigger” UK charities and hopefully I can help.”

I think the sense of achievement and knowing how proud my dad would have been about raising this substantial sum of money for MDUK will definitely be what I am looking to the most. I think running a marathon in general is always tough on the body and the mind and in a usual marathon being able to run alongside others through the greatest city in the world with thousands of people cheering you on definitely helps. This year we won’t have that and winning that mental battle on your own can be tough! “
Staying motivated throughout COVID with his training and fundraising was really challenging.
“It’s been difficult! Having personally getting COVID and being away from my newborn daughter, to then losing my dad it hasn’t been easy. Running and exercise are definitely key to mental health for myself and having a goal and target to train towards really helps me. I am extremely accident prone and managed to break my ankle in August whilst training which has put a dampener of the training recently but I have keeping active doing less strenuous tasks. My advice would be that a marathon can be daunting but try to break it down into stages and tackle those small stages one by one and before you know it you will be home with your feet up knowing you have achieved something amazing.

He said: “I want to do something positive during this terrible year for me personally and also for people all over the world.

“My dad would love to have seen the fundraising amount we are currently on and if we can keep pushing that higher it will be really amazing, I know he will be proud. If we can also help raise awareness out there for MD and MDUK as a charity that will really be beneficial. I don’t see this as a one-off. We will continue as a family to raise money and awareness for MDUK going forward, following in my dad’s footsteps.”

Kiera Santry, Challenge Events Officer at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: “We’re so grateful to Scott for taking on this amazing challenge, which will help us to continue supporting people with muscle-wasting conditions like Sydney. Running a marathon is hard enough, let alone doing it virtually and without the crowds!

“Charities like ours are needed now more than ever, and Scott’s support means so much to us. We wish him the best of luck with his challenge, and can’t wait to hear about it afterwards.”

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