Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
9:32 AM 5th June 2020

Kind-hearted Brother And Sister Smash Target In Marathon Effort For Bluebell Wood

An inspirational brother and sister have raised an incredible £2,420 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice by running a marathon in just eight days.

Luca and Sophia Mizler at the beginning of their challenge
Luca and Sophia Mizler at the beginning of their challenge
Initially hoping to cover the 26.2 miles in a single outing, the ambitious young duo eventually agreed to do it over eight days after dad Gary pointed out just how challenging it would be.

Sophia Mizler, 11, from Ridgeway, was inspired after seeing the remarkable fundraising feats people have been taking on during lockdown. Her brother Luca, 7, quickly got on board.

After eight days of grinding out the miles around their local streets, the intrepid siblings crossed the finish line on April 30th to the cheers of socially distanced friends and neighbours.

Mum Louise, 35, who’s a Neonatal Nurse at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, said it all began with a chat with her daughter.

“A family friend visits Bluebell Wood for respite care and I was chatting to Sophia about just how much they help people,” she said.

“Then, after hearing many charities are struggling with fundraising in lockdown and realising just how much it costs to run Bluebell Wood, she really wanted to do something to help.”

Luca & Sophia pounding the pavements with a bit of help from little sister Anya
Luca & Sophia pounding the pavements with a bit of help from little sister Anya
Initially they started out with a £250 target, but the siblings quickly surpassed their target with the support of their community.

“We live on an estate and everyone really enjoyed watching them out of their windows each day,” said Louise.

“Everyone got behind them and when they did their final leg we mentioned it to a few neighbours – and the whole estate came out to cheer them on! It was amazing and the kids absolutely loved it.

“Their school, Ridgeway Primary has also been fantastic and really supportive.”

As well as raising much-needed funds to support Bluebell Wood, their efforts gave the family to something to focus on in lockdown – and a welcome break from home schooling!

“They both absolutely smashed it and I’m so proud of them,” said Louise.

“We have two other children aged two and ten months so it’s been challenging at times in lockdown, but this gave us something to focus on as a family.”

The dedicated duo enjoyed it so much that they’re already planning to do a similar challenge next year, so watch this space.

Luca crossing the finish line to the cheers of neighbours
Luca crossing the finish line to the cheers of neighbours
Sally Baker, Community Fundraising Manager at Bluebell Wood, said: “We’d like to give a huge thank you to Sophia, Luca and the whole family for their incredible efforts. It’s nothing short of inspirational and you should be so proud of what you’ve achieved.

“The amazing sum they have raised will help us continue to look after some of the most vulnerable children and families in our communities when they need our help more than ever.”

If you want to fundraise for Bluebell Wood, however you are able and when the time’s right for you, you can join the charity’s #Let’sPledge campaign here or by calling 01909 517 360.

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice cares for children and young adults with life-shortening and life-threatening conditions. They are currently supporting over 300 families, both in their North Anston hospice and in family homes.

The support services are wide ranging and bespoke to each family; including end of life treatment and care, respite care, music therapy, counselling, sibling support groups, home visits and much, much more.

It costs £4.8m to keep their doors open for families across South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire, North Nottinghamshire and parts of North Lincolnshire, which is £13,325 each day. The hospice receives around 9% of their funding from government sources.