AN engineer who has been battling with grief since his partner tragically died in January is getting his running shoes on in her memory.
Craig Hume will be taking to the start line at the Great Birmingham Run on October 15 to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation in memory of Natalie Parkes.
Natalie, age 32, was a lung cancer specialist nurse at Heartlands and Solihull Hospitals and died a week after a valve was replaced in her heart.
She chose to have the operation so she could move on and concentrate on her future plans with Craig.
They had moved in together six weeks before and were talking about getting married and potentially having a family together.
Craig was devastated by his loss and is trying to come to terms with his grief with a huge amount of support from Natalie’s family.
Craig said: “Although we were only together for 14 months, I knew Natalie was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
“Her death was a total shock and it is hard to come to terms with, my life has changed completely.
“I started to run to give me a focus. Although I hate running, it has helped me to lose three stone in weight and get fitter.
“I’ve come a long way since my first run with a lot of help from Solihull and Small Heath athletics club.
“I also decided I would raise money for the BHF to help prevent other people going through what I have. If anyone would like to support me, they can donate to my Just Giving page.”
Craig is hoping to raise £7,500 for the British Heart Foundation in Natalie’s memory in all his fundraising causes.
So far he has raised £4,000 and is aiming to get a place at the London Marathon next year.
Donna Stokes, BHF fundraising manager, said: “This is such a sad story about another young woman who had so much to look forward to and it is so cruel that her future was snatched away from her.
“Too many lives are lost in the West Midlands each year and we’re determined to do everything we can to protect more families from this devastation.
“Money raised from fundraising activities like this will help us to fund the research that’s so desperately needed to bring us closer to beating heart disease. Together we can save more lives.”
For more or to donate visit www.justgiving.com/Road-to-london