'Liz was my right arm': Gloucestershire woman to honour late best friend at London Marathon

  • "There's a big gap left since her passing" - Cathy Hammond tells ITV News why she's running the London Marathon in honour of her friend Liz Finch

A woman from Gloucestershire is gearing up for next weekend's London Marathon in memory of her "right arm" best friend who died of cancer last year.

Cathy Hammond is taking on the challenge to raise money for the hospice that looked after her friend, Liz Finch, in her final days.

Liz spent the final six weeks of her life at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice before losing her battle with suspected bile duct cancer aged 46, in June 2023.

Cathy remembers her friend, who was a keen runner, as "funny, strong and an amazing mother.

Liz would refer to Cathy and some of her other friends as the ‘adventure buddies’. Credit: Sue Ryder

"Liz was my right arm, our left arm - she was just part of our friendship group that you could just tell everything and anything to and it was a safe space. There's a big gap left since her passing," she told ITV News.

They had been friends for over 20 years and Liz would refer to Cathy and some of her other friends as the "adventure buddies" - but their time together was sadly cut short.

Her fundraiser has already reached over £4000 - All for the hospice that made Liz's final days so special.

"The care that she received from everybody from the volunteers, to the actual nurses - the whole team for Liz and her family - was amazing," Cathy said.

With under a week to go, Cathy says Liz is at the forefront of her mind.

"Small things like having a foot massage, her nails painted, just helped lift her on some really dark days."

With under a week to go Cathy says Liz is at the forefront of her mind.

She added: "Liz would say it's just me all over, biting off a little bit more than I can chew but definitely sticking with it."

Ellie Bailey, Clinical Team Leader at Leckhampton Court Hospice says fundraising plays a vital role in helping people make the best they possibly can of their last days.

She said: "We provide palliative care for people who are at the start of their journeys or the end.

"The cost of living is going up and so is the cost of dying, so funding is really really important and something as a charity we are really proud of people to want to do it for us as well."