Chai runners take part in Virgin Money London Marathon raising over £60,000

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A group of 10 runners took to the Capital’s streets for the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 22nd April, in aid of Chai Cancer Care. The event has raised £60,000 so far for the charity, which provides comprehensive, professional and expert services to any member of the Jewish community affected by a cancer diagnosis.


James Steele, one of Chai’s runners who took part in the 26.2 mile challenge, has so far raised an awesome £6,550 for Chai, far exceeding his initial target of £5,000. James completed the marathon in 5 hours and 7 minutes. He said: “‘Chai is an amazing charity which has been part of my life for a long time. I knew by supporting such an amazing cause and thinking about all the people who are affected by a cancer diagnosis, I would be able to get through the 26 miles’

Ben Radstone also took part in the marathon in memory of his father, Mark Radstone and his father in-law, Jack Reef. Ben completed the marathon in 4 hours 17 minutes and has so far raised an inspiring £10,899 for Chai.

Prior to the marathon, Ben said: “Without the support our families had, my mum and my mother in law would not have been able to sit by their husband's side every day at home or in hospital giving them the assurances and comfort they needed to deal with their illness. However, as no doubt you have read numerous times, it’s not just the patient who suffers, the families do as well, and I am not embarrassed to tell you that the anxiety it caused me at times was overwhelming. 

Having friends, family and counsellors we could speak to, just knowing someone was there for you, meant everything. 

Chai Cancer Care steps in for those needing support, by supporting the patient and their families not only with counselling but physical support in arranging transport to ensure the patients can attend  hospital visits for treatment or scans, and arranging Volunteers to sit with patients in the hospital so that they are not alone during their darkest days. 

I chose to run for Chai as I wanted to support specifically their 'Home support' programme and make the lives of those families and patients affected by cancer that little bit easier.”

Michael Koyfman completed the marathon in 5 hours and 15 minutes. He said: “Although not my first marathon, the London marathon was certainly the most memorable. Raising money for Chai was a privilege that I took very seriously and with such a great cause in mind it made my training and the marathon experience all the more meaningful.”

Michael Jaeger completed the challenge in 4 hours and 38 minutes and has so far raised over £6,611.

Michael said: “my father passed away in 2016 after losing his battle with Lymphoma. Since he lived in Israel he didn't benefit from Chai's phenomenal services, but I wanted to raise money for Chai in his name.”

Richard Silver, who also ran for Chai, completing the marathon in 4 hours and 55 minutes, has raised over £9,768 so far.

Ricki Stone, another of Chai’s runners, completed the route in 5 hours and 51 minutes, raised over £7,616. She said: “running has taught me that I am capable of so much more than I ever imagined. Chai does so much for the community and I wanted to take on a challenge to support them and their amazing work that they do!”

Darrel Yawitch also took part in the marathon, completing the challenge in an incredible 3 hours and 16 minutes. Darrel has raised over £3,428 so far.

Neil Sapler, who completed the marathon in 5 hours and 45 minutes, has so far raised £3,237. He said: “20 years ago my beloved Stepfather Harold Kirk was diagnosed and ultimately passed away from cancer. There was very limited support for the person that was affected let alone the family. Recently a few of our friends were diagnosed and talked about the difference Chai made and fantastic work they did. At Yom Kippur the Shul we attended (Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation) selected Chai as their charity and I was so impressed by the services and support available to those impacted by cancer. Our friends our now thankfully in remission however they still talk so highly of Chai and how valuable the support was. This all contributed to my decision to raise the awareness and money for the charity, then along came the marathon and it was a perfect match.

Elliott Stern and his wife, Tash Stern, have so far raised an incredible £12,500 which will be split between Chai Cancer Care, Grief Encounter and Luton and Dunstable Hospital. Speaking about why they picked Chai as one of their chosen charities, Elliott said: “A few years ago, Tash's free spirited, loving and very special auntie Renee was diagnosed with Cancer. Luckily, today she is fighting fit and has been in remission for over 5 years. The incredible support she received from Chai throughout the duration of treatment to fight her disease, was outstanding. If that wasn’t enough, Chai provided support for her wonderful husband and children and Chai still continues to provide a consistent support to her as she manages the changes this has brought to her life. She has always been full of spirit and this did not change during her treatment. She is an inspiration to all of us so to be able to give back to the charity that has helped her so much we know will help us cross that finish line.”

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’!