Our Guy’s Urban Challenge tribute to dear friends
Zoe Hosking and her partner Martin are long-term supporters of the Guy’s Adult Transplant Team - a sports team for people who have had transplants either at Evelina London as children or Guy’s and St Thomas’ as adults. This year, they are taking part in Guy’s Urban Challenge in memory of two friends.
Zoe and Martin’s story
Zoe’s godmother, Sharon Newman, was manager of the Guy's Adult Transplant Team. When Sharon became too ill to continue, Zoe took over, having supported and assisted her at the British Transplant Games for several years. The annual event takes place in different UK cities where transplant survivors as young as five can compete in different sports.
‘I have also now stepped down as manager, but I continue to attend the Games every year as a supporter, and I still regularly get involved with the team when they do events. And through me, Martin also got involved. He came to support the British Transplant Games in 2018 which were held in Birmingham and played football for the Guy’s team in the supporters’ football competition.’ Zoe says.
Taking on a challenge for Sharon and Jamie
Sadly, as Sharon has since died, Zoe and Martin are taking part in Guy’s Urban Challenge to remember her, as well as another friend they have recently lost, Jamie Lawrence.
The couple are both keen runners - Martin has done the London Marathon twice, which will help them tackle the unique 'urban triathlon.' The classic challenge involves a 2.4 km run around Guy's Hospital, then a 15 km spin on a state-of-the-art Wattbike, followed by a 29-floor climb to the top of Europe's tallest hospital building, Guy's Tower. However, Zoe and Martin are taking on the ultra version, which is a 5km run, then an 18km spin on the Wattbike, and finally, the 29-floor climb to the top of Guy’s Tower.
‘We both wanted to do something in memory of the members of the team we have recently lost. And thought this would be a good way to do it, along with the tattoo I have of a poppy, which was Sharon’s favourite flower. Martin and Jamie loved playing football together too. They were the only ones who scored goals when the supporters’ team won silver at the Games last year.'
‘Guy’s and St Thomas’ do such amazing work for so many people, and it is important to help support that and give something back to the hospital that has such a strong place in our hearts.’ Zoe explains.
Zoe and Martin are also keen to keep their friends’ legacies alive by giving sporting opportunities to others who have had transplants.
‘I hope that the money raised will help some younger members of the transplant community attend the British Transplant Games and become more involved in the team. The costs of the Games can be daunting for some people, and it would be nice to be able to support them to attend and get them involved and experience the Games in all its glory’. She adds.
But whatever the motivation, Zoe encourages anyone thinking about fundraising to give it a go.
‘The more people that get involved with challenges and fundraising for the hospital, the better.’
Guy’s Urban Challenge will take place on Saturday, 28 September 2019. As well as the triathlon activities, there will be a free all-day festival with lots of fun things including food, drink and entertainment.
If you’ve been inspired by Zoe’s story and would like to take part next year, then please put your email address in the box below to receive information on Guy’s Urban Challenge 2020.
Lead photo: Zoe (right) with godmother, Sharon