For six consecutive years Steve Clark with the assistance of his mother Lynette Clark have organised the Run 4 Jess initiative in memory of Steve’s wife, Jess Clark, who passed away in early 2013.
This year’s event will be held this Saturday 17 March from 2pm at the Gipps Road sporting complex, Greystanes. Community members are being encouraged to wear green, which was Jess’ favourite colour and in theme with St Patrick’s Day.
Run 4 Jess aims to raise funds for Westmead Medical Research Foundation (WMRF) in support of Westmead Hospital’s oncology ward.
After Jess passed away, Steve and Lynette encouraged family and friends to make a donation to the ward rather than send flowers. Then, Girraween Athletics Club kindly offered to hold a fun run to help raise even more funds.
Steve is grateful for the support of doctors and nurses who dedicate a huge portion of their lives to helping patients and families when they need it most.
“Our fun run is a way to bring a large group of people together who loved and valued Jess, and raise money for something that was such a big part of the last part of her life,” Steve said.
“Since then it has served a dual purpose of being a competitive fun run and a chance for friends and family of Jess to come together and honour her memory.”
“The oncology ward is made of some of the most incredible humans you could meet. When Jess was staying at Westmead, the team was like family. They were truly invested in her journey, not simply passive observers. They celebrated her successes with her and mourned with us when we lost her. It meant the world to me that I could drop her off at the hospital and know that she was with her ‘second family’.”
For Steve and Lynette, raising money for WMRF is the opportunity to help despite ‘feeling helpless’.
“Not all of us have the skills, bravery and tenacity required to be doctors, nurses and scientists. Fundraising provides a chance to support valuable members of the community by giving them the resources they need to better help others,” Steve said.
For more information about supporting Westmead Medical Research Foundation via hosting a fundraising event, please contact Marlene Nasr, Community Relations & Events Manager on 1800 639 037 or to find out how you can support, please go to wmrf.org.au