My name is Peter Hall. I’m an ordinary 54 year old bloke, living in Leigh on Sea, married to Elaine and father to 4 great kids . I also attend West Leigh Baptist Church where I have been an active part of the fellowship for the past 10 years. So what I hear you cry? Well this Saturday 14th July I am doing something extraordinary – running 100km non-stop across the Chilterns along ‘The Ridgeway’ – Britain’s oldest marked trail – at a prehistoric 5000 years old! I will be taking part in ‘Race to the Stones’ starting at Lewknor in Oxfordshire and finishing at the standing stones in Avebury, Wilts – the largest stone circle in Europe.
What makes this challenge all the more incredible is that in the mid-nineties I was diagnosed with lymphatic Cancer. I underwent High dose chemotherapy (twice) and went on to receive a stem cell transplant in 1997, followed by a bone marrow transplant in 1998 at St Barts Hospital in London. Each time my cancer responded to treatment only to be followed by relapse and further progression of disease. In early 1999 after yet another relapse the medical team at Barts told me that there was nothing more they could do and that I had to prepare for the worst. If that news wasn’t devastating enough, I then went on to contract meningitis and septicaemia in July 2000, and my family were called to my bedside as I wasn’t expected to survive the night. My cancer had also spread to my bones and my liver was also affected. In simple terms, things couldn’t get any worse.
Miraculously and against all odds, I had a scan in August 2000 which showed almost complete remission. In the coming years I went on to make a slow but complete recovery – all without the need for any further medical intervention or treatment. Needles to say I feel very blessed and privileged to be in this position, and since then have continued to make the most of every moment, enjoying life in all its fullness.
I went on to work at Havens Hospices as a volunteer during my recovery, and then as a fundraiser for a number of years. Fair Havens Hospice supported me through with end of life care when I needed it most and I am so delighted to be able to speak of their amazing care and support by now sharing my story and celebration of recovery.
I now work for New Life Wood – an inspirational new Charity that’s set to transform the lives of local disadvantaged adults. Helping to rehabilitate and support ex-offenders and those with a past history of drug, alcohol and mental health difficulties back into work across South Essex. You can find out more about our work at: www.newlifewood.org.uk or at: www.facebook.com/NewLifeWoodEssex
I will be raising vital funds for New Life Wood through this incredible 100km off road challenge on Saturday 14th July – and the terrain across the Chilterns is seriously hilly! New Life Wood believes everyone deserves a second chance. This run is also my opportunity to celebrate the second chance I was given all those years ago. Since my first London Marathon in 1998 (in between transplants), I am proud to have completed a further 9 marathons, numerous half marathons, cycle challenges in China and Vietnam, and biked from Leigh on Sea to Paris three times. I successfully completed in 2007 the ‘end to ender’ – a 1000 mile John O Groats to Lands End cycle challenge, raising £13,000 for Havens Hospices.
You can sponsor me for my run on Saturday, and read about my story at: www.give.net/PeterHall
Thank you for being part of my story, for your continued encouragement and prayers – and for your generous support.