Chai runners take part in Virgin Money London Marathon raising £65,000

Charlotte Hamilton & Ben Menahem 1.jpg

A group of 11 runners took to the Capital’s streets for the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 23rd April, in aid of Chai Cancer Care. The event has raised £65,000 so far for the charity, which provides comprehensive, professional and expert services to any member of the Jewish community affected by a cancer diagnosis.


Ricky Green, one of Chai’s runners who took part in the 26.2 mile challenge, has so far raised an awesome £28,160 for Chai. Ricky completed the marathon in 5 hours.

Following the marathon, Ricky said: "Running for Chai Cancer Care was very humbling in a year where three friends have been affected by this truly debilitating condition. Thankfully Chai offers some escape and comfort for those affected and their family and friends; I am pleased that in some small way I have been able to contribute to this wonderful cause."

Coby Bull also took part in the marathon and completed the route in 5 hours and 4 minutes. Coby has so far raised an inspiring £7,569.

Coby said: “I am raising money for Chai in memory of Jennifer Aron z’l who suffered with cancer and passed away in July 2016. A beautiful lady inside and out, who fought bravely until the end. Never complaining and always worrying about everybody else, putting friends and family first. Admired by all for her elegant nature, style and gentle way, she will be missed. This horrible disease eats away at the physical body and try's to take over the spirit but with the help of Chai the battle continues. Chai are always at the end of the phone, they help through the emotional roller coaster that is cancer! We will always remember "Jenn" with a smile on our face.”

Jonathan Barr took part in the marathon alongside his wife, Lauren. They have chosen to raise money for Chai Cancer Care and the North London Hospice and have so far raised £9,652 which will be split between the two charities.

Prior to the marathon, Jonathan said, “Running has become our life-style over the last 6 years, something that we enjoy doing together and which helped me in my darkest days to take my mind off my cancer diagnosis and treatment and gave me my goal to run the 2015 New York Marathon 10 weeks post-chemotherapy which I did successfully. Chai Cancer Care have been a rock to me during my testicular cancer journey and my sadness at losing my Mum to cancer – they have shown me such kindness and understanding. Their complementary therapies really helped my rehabilitation and continue to do so.  In addition, Mum was a Chai volunteer, on Reception answering the phone and helping them organise charity in-house events – she loved feeling part of their community and helping out whenever she could.”

Charlotte Hamilton and Ben Menahem also took part in the challenge. They have so far raised over £2,774 which will be split between Chai Cancer Care and Jewish Women’s Aid.

Following the marathon, Charlotte said: “Every runner goes through the good miles, the challenging miles and even the miles where you aren’t sure you can do it. It is truly humbling to be one of 37,000 people to cross that finish line for a cause you believe in which ultimately keeps you going. This year I trained and fundraised with my fiancé, Ben Menahem, which made it more enjoyable and certainly one for the memory books. It was an absolute pleasure to run for Chai, having had a close family friend use their services over the past couple of years it meant a lot to be able to give back and make sure that others that may need Chai in the future will have it there.”

Rachel Caplin, who also ran for Chai, has raised over £1,500 so far. Following the marathon, she said: “I wanted to run for Chai in memory of my dear mum, who sadly lost her battle with this awful disease. Running the London Marathon was an amazing experience! The atmosphere and crowds were fantastic, and together with family and friends who came to watch, really helped keep me going especially for the last few miles. A great and memorable day all round!”

Michaela Krantz, another of Chai’s runners, raised over £2,040. Michaela said: “I found the marathon an incredibly uplifting and a great personal experience. I decided to run for Chai as recently a few close family friends have greatly benefited from the incredible work that Chai does and feel it's important to spread awareness and funds so the service can continue to grow and provide much need support to those who are unfortunately affected by cancer.”

Jo Benjamin also took part in the marathon, completing the marathon in 4 hours and 47 minutes and has raised over £4,386. Jo said: “I found the Marathon an amazing experience and one I've always wanted to be part of. I ran for Chai because I think they're an amazing charity who help so many people. I feel very lucky that I personally haven't had to go through cancer with anyone close to me, yet, but unfortunately the statistics are that most of us will one day and I have had 2 close friends lose their mums to the disease recently.”

Josh Dvir, who completed the marathon in 4 hours 25 minutes, has so far raised £3,127. He said: “Chai is a charity very close to me and it does an amazing job helping cancer patients and their loved ones. The first 25km (15 miles) were easy, but afterwards it became tougher every mile that passed, but thinking about the reasons why I chose to run in the marathon and enjoying the beautiful sites that London has to offer made it easier to finish.”

Mikey Salem completed the challenge in 5 hours and 4 minutes and has so far raised over £5,107 for Chai. Following the marathon, Mikey said: “The most amazing part of the marathon were the crowds. From the second you cross the start line until the finish line the crowd is there cheering you on. I chose to run for Chai to help improve the lives of people who suffer from cancer and their families. Unfortunately, we are unable to cure cancer today, so we need to ensure cancer sufferers have the best care in place to help them through this difficult period. Chai helps thousands of people nationwide and I felt the need to help in any way I could.”

Melanie Ross has raised over £4,251 for Chai so far. Following the challenge, Melanie said: “The London Marathon is THE charity marathon and it was so worthwhile to run for your amazing organisation. Thank you Chai!”

Louise Hager, Chai’s Chairman, said: “We are in awe and salute all our runners for their commitment and dedication over many months and through all their efforts, Chai can continue to be there for all those who turn to us. The Community continue to ‘run by our side’!