THIS WOKINGHAM 11-year-old’s lockdown hobby has been raising money for a personal cause.
Last year, Elodie Lewis started running to stay motivated during the first lockdown, and now she has collected more than £1,000 from her supporters.
The youngster recently took part in Cancer Research UK’s Virtual 10k Winter Run in a bid to fight the illness which has affected her family first-hand.
Five years ago, her mother Victoria underwent surgery to remove half of her kidney after being diagnosed with cancer. She also had half of her shoulder blade removed.
After her mother made a full recovery, Elodie lost her Nana to pancreatic cancer last year.
In an effort to help fund research into the disease, she decided to try and raise £150 for Cancer Research UK – but people have given very generously and she will now be donating £1,025.
“I didn’t expect to get to my £150 target and when I went over that I felt phenomenal,” Elodie says. “It really helped encourage me out for my daily runs.
“[This money] really could make a difference to helping get closer to finding a cure for cancer, which is really important.”
Elodie says the final 10k run was difficult, but she was spurred on by all the messages of support she had received.
“I thought I would have to stop and walk, but my Mum read all my fundraising messages out to me and that pushed me to keep on running,” she explains.
Victoria says after “begging and bribing” her children to run a lap of the block each day during the first lockdown, Elodie was the only one who kept going.
“She was looking for a personal challenge to keep herself motivated, so off her own back she set out to run a mile every single day during the third lockdown,” Victoria says.
“Admittedly, my husband and I were a bit sceptical when she said she was going to do it and we thought the novelty would soon wear off, but once we saw how determined she was we realised that if she set her mind to running 10k, she’d rise to the challenge.”
Looking back on the challenge, Victoria says she could not be more proud of Elodie.
“It’s a great achievement, and it’s been uplifting to celebrate it as a family at an otherwise pretty boring time,” she says.
Now, Elodie plans to continue running at least one mile per day until she can go back to school.
“It feels refreshing to get out of the house each day, especially after home-school, but I hope we’re back soon though,” she says.
To find out more about Elodie’s Cancer Research UK fundraiser, visit: www.virtualwinterrun.co.uk/fundraisers/elodielewis