RUNNING FOR EMILY Mayo native Liam Gilmore, who lives in England, lost his wife Emily to breast cancer last year.
THEY fell in love in West Africa, started a family in London, and hoped to live the rest of their lives together.
Liam and Emily Gilmore were just like any other young couple. They had a home in Wiltshire, two young daughters, and hearts filled with hope and ambition.
But Liam, who is originally from Swinford, said his last goodbye to Emily last July when she passed away at just 40 years of age from breast cancer.
Emily was a woman who lived to help others.
Liam saw that first-hand when he met her in Liberia while working with Trócaire.
In 2015 she ran the London City Marathon to raise money for Young Epilepsy, the charity where she worked.
In early 2021, her world was turned upside down when she learned that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Within days, she learned that she was pregnant with their second child.
Despite her illness, Emily delivered a healthy baby girl called Margot in September 2021.
Margot was not a year old when she lost her mother the following summer, ten weeks after Emily received a fatal secondary diagnosis.
Her husband Liam promised her that he would run the London City Marathon.
On April 23, he will honour that promise while raising funds for two very worth causes.
Already Liam (who has strong family ties to Glenhest and Newport) has covered over 400 kilometres and has raised over £13,700 (€15,108) for two charities that are very close to his heart.
The first is his employer ‘Plan International’, a charity which strives to advance children’s rights and equality for girls in over 80 countries.
“They’ve been a really supportive employer. It’s a way of saying thanks to them and raising funds for the work that we do around the world,” Liam told The Mayo News.
“We do a lot of humanitarian work across the world. All those things help and give you the motivation to keep on going.”
His second cause is ‘Winston’s Wish’, a charity which supports children who have lost loved ones.
“I’ve been able to use their resources and books to talk to my daughter, who’s four, about what’s happened,” Liam explained.
“They are quite a small charity. All the funds that they received are really good news.
“I think it’s important that children get the support they need if anything happens, if they lose a loved one, they can make sense of what happens and get support at the right time.”
Last weekend, runners across the globe joined him in-person and remotely for a ‘Run4Emily event,’ which coincided with what would have been his wife’s 41st birthday.
Next up for Liam is the London Marathon where he will trek the final 42 kilometres to honour the love of his life.
With the help and support of friends, family and an accommodating employer, Liam has worked part-time while pounding the roads through wind, rain and snow in preparation for the big event.
Talking to him, it’s very easy to understand what has driven him over 400 kilometres over the past five months.
“I’m enjoying it. Sometimes you think what’s happened, and Emily, and you reflect on what happened,” Liam said. “That can be tough. But equally, when you’re running hard you think about what she went through, and I suppose you want to keep on going.
“Equally, when you’re running, you’re thinking about the fundraising and what we can achieve and the support they’re getting, and all the people that have got behind that.”
We wish Liam the best of luck.
You can donate to the Run4Emily fundraiser by visiting https://run4emily.org/