Team of runners to raise awareness and importance of organ donation at Hastings Half Marathon

Mike Benton with the phone mascot SUS-190320-162611001
Mike Benton with the phone mascot SUS-190320-162611001

A team of runners taking part in this Sunday’s Hastings Half Marathon have already raised thousands of pounds ahead of the big race.

After receiving a double lung transplant last August, father-of-two James Beeching decided to continue raising awareness for organ donation by encouraging people to participate in the half marathon and join Team Hastings Donates.

The team has now got more than 30 members and will also be raising funds for the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Trust.

Collectively the team have so far raised more than £3,000.

James said: “I am so pleased with the response from friends, family and strangers. Many of our team are first-time runners, would never had dreamed of competing in the half marathon, but have signed up because they genuinely wanted to support the cause.

“Mike Benton, a friend of mine, even wanted to go the extra mile and run as a team mascot to raise more awareness.”

James had three false hopes before undergoing the major operation last summer after suitable replacement lungs were found.

He said the new lungs have ‘completely changed his life’.

Mike said: “I wanted to do something to support organ donation and the CF Trust after seeing James suffer for so long. When James asked people to run the Hastings half I knew it was something I could do.

“However, the idea of the phone mascot really took my fancy as I knew it would mean great awareness and a real personal challenge.”

There is a Facebook page called Hastings Donates where James has posted information about the importance of organ donation and offers training tips for those wanting to run the half marathon.

Cystic fibrosis is an incurable condition that causes mucus to build up in the lungs.

For more information on the CF Trust, visit www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk.

Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk for information about organ donation.

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