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24 hour jog honours wife's courage

SARAH CODDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 21/01/2014
Marae
MEMORIES: Philip Nevall holds a photo of his beloved wife Anne. He is doing a fundraising run in her memory.

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Philip Nevall is a man on the run.

He'll be jogging for 24 hours straight in loving memory of his late wife Anne.

She died aged 47 in March last year at Totara Hospice South Auckland, just after she and her husband had celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary.

Anne had been suffering from a deliberating autoimmune disease called scleroderma for 12 years.

To mark the first anniversary of her death, her husband will be running the cycleway and bridle path at Totara Park for 24 hours on March 15.

He's raising funds for both Totara Hospice and scleroderma research. So far he has raised $1000.

It's the first time the Manurewa man has run non-stop for a long period but he has done half marathons in the past. "She had to put up with pain 24/7 so putting up with pain for 24 hours is nothing," he says.

"Anne never got down about having the disease, she just got on with it."

He's been given a free gym membership from Fitness Plus Manurewa to help with his training.

When Anne was diagnosed she was living in Sydney with Philip and their son Connor, now 14.

She had chemotherapy to help manage the disease in the early stages.

Soon after the diagnosis the family decided to move back to Manurewa to be with relatives.

Anne worked at a call centre at Counties Manukau District Health Board for 12 years but was forced to resign when the disease took its toll on her.

Shortly before her death she was looked after by hospice staff at her home.

"They were wonderful. Someone just came in to help bath Anne and it took some stress off us," Mr Nevall says.

"She was treated with the upmost care and respect. She died so peacefully in the beautiful environment at hospice."

Totara Hospice offered counselling to both Philip and Connor.

Anyone is welcome to join Mr Nevall during his 24-hour run to support the cause. He says he would appreciate having others keep him company during the night of the run or in the early hours of the morning.

Go to givealittle.co.nz/cause/AnneNewall24Hour Run to make a donation.

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- Manukau Courier

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