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London Marathon runners raise £30,000 for local hospice

24 Apr London Marathon runners raise £30,000 for local hospice

A mother in Leytonstone went the extra mile for Haven House Children’s Hospice by running the London Marathon on Sunday 23 April as a way of saying thank you for supporting her son.

Mel Rinaldi, who lives in Poppleton Road, was among 17 Haven House runners who navigated 26.2 miles of gruelling roads through the capital and collectively raised more than £30,000 for the hospice in Woodford Green.

Mel has been using Haven House since 2011 for her eight-year-old son, Kristian. He has Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy where seizures can be non-stop. Kristian requires round-the-clock care and has no concept of safety. His only way of communicating is to cry, laugh or smile.

When Kristian is at Haven House, it gives Mel an enormous sense of relief as she knows he has the freedom to play and be himself in a safe and caring environment. It also means she has the chance for vital breaks and can spend more time playing with her three-year-old daughter, Abigail.

Speaking of her achievement, Mel said: “This was my first race after having children and it was hard going, but I’m so glad that I did it. Haven House is a lifeline and provides Kristian with such wonderful support. It’s great to be able to raise funds so they can help other children with life-limited conditions. It’s just my way of saying thankyou.”

Haven House has helped Mel meet other parents with life-limited children with monthly coffee mornings and she also volunteers every Tuesday at the hospice’s Leytonstone charity shop in the High Road.