JANINE Brown, now working in New York, appeals for support as she aims to raise money for her charity.
Sunday 6th November 2011 I will be taking part in the New York Marathon dressed as “Wonder Woman!” This marathon marks the most personal one I have so far run because it will be in honor and memory of a great team mate and friend. Clare Grossman, or as I knew her at Ashford Atheltic Club, Clare Soper.
Clare passed away after fighting the rarest form of Wegners Vasculitis which is inflammation of blood vessels that affect the lungs, kidneys and other major organs. Wegner’s Vasculitis is a life threatening condition and there is no cure for this disease at this stage.
Clare fought this disease for many months but in the end her body couldn’t fight it anymore, so hard to comprehend when she was just 39 years old, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin and for me an old team mate and friend who was the focal point on my team, Ashford Athletic Club, she was a true leader, alongside Manger and top dog “Derky!”.
I learnt so much from her as a young athlete going into the senior ranks when I first competed in the “Big Girls League!!”. Clare led a tight rope when we was on our Ostend trips, making sure we stayed out of mischief.
I recall her smile, her laugh, her enthusiasm, and her commitment to, as Clare often put it, “stuffing it up em!”, and beating all the other athletic clubs in the league, when we were on the road to UK Women’s Leagues, she made us laugh. Clare was never afraid to say what she thought but that’s why we loved her.
When I found out she was ill, I was shocked, although she had not been competing for some years for the club to concentrate on her family, I still remembered her as the lively, happy clare, that fighting sprit!!!
The last time I saw Clare she came with mom Bonny to watch us at an athletics meeting. She always had an eye over us all even joked about her comeback and the good old days. Even though she was not competing, for me Clare was always a part of the team, she never went away.
Clare’s zest for life touched so many of us in so many ways, for me, this 26.2 mile journey is for you Clare!!! and no doubt I’ll hear her shouting “c’mon J9, stuff up it em!!” as her and Derky often did from the athletic stands!!!!, thats when I know I must dig deep, thats what Clare would have done, she would not have given up and fought all the way till the end.
My aim is to raise as much money for the Stuart Strange Vasculitis Trust as possible for more research to be done into finding a cure for Vasculitis, so others dont have to go through what Clare’s family and friends have had to go through losing her.
Also former team mates Emma Wood, Jennie Matthews, Tracey Laws, Katie Butler, Candy Hawkins are running for “Clare” in The Givaudan, Ashford 10K on Sunday 9th October 2011 , formally the Julie Rose 10km.
Lets keep Clare’s spirit alive and join me on my 26.2mile and the girls 10km journey to raise as much money for the Stuart Strange Vasculitis Trust as possible.
If we can save one life, then thats better then none. Please go to my webpage and feel free to donate onto this page, its completely safe!) Thank You!