Grandfather runs 800 miles for charity

join him in the Flora London Marathon next year....


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Find out more about the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability

Any one wanting to sign up to run the marathon for the hospital, sponsor Lolo or find out more about the hospital can visit or contact Community and Events on 020 8780 4563.

As thousands of wannabe marathon runners find out if they have secured a place on next year’s Flora London Marathon, charities are gearing up to offer places to those rejected.

One charity, the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, is hoping to find charitable athletes to complete with it’s longest standing runner, 58 year old hospital storekeeper Lolo Leyanda, who has independently raised over £30,000, by running around 800 miles.

The grandfather, who has worked full time in the catering department of the hospital in Putney for 32 years, has spent the last 18, running up sponsorship to help the hospital’s 240 patients, and has recently been awarded the hospital’s ‘Unsung Hero Award’ for all his hard work.
Lolo in training overseen by his fundraiser & patient Deidre

At 58, the charitable veteran,
who claims that the only injury he has ever sustained was one to his knee, when someone kicked him in a friendly football match, has no intention of hanging up his trainers and has signed up for his 22nd marathon for the hospital.

The avid runner attributes his stamina to a healthy diet, training five times a week and being motivated by patients at the hospital where he works.

He says, “Almost all of the patients at the hospital are wheel chair bound and have limited control of their body - some can only move their eyes.

“To see first hand how one day you can be living your life as normal, and the next - have the freedom of movement taken away from you - motivates me to run year after year.”

Lolo claims he wouldn’t have raised half of the £30,000 without the help of his “little friend” Dierdre Dierdre Tydd, has been Lolo’s sole fundraiser since she became a resident at Royal Hospital seventeen years ago. Lolo says, “All I do is run, it is Dierdre that does all the hard work to raise the money!”

Dierdre spends around four months each year, collecting money for Lolo from staff, visitors and conference goers in the hospital reception, as well as writing to hundreds of celebrities and asking for their support.

She says “It is mostly local businesses and individuals who sponsor Lolo but I also write to celebrities and we have had support from some really interesting people like Graham Norton, Stephen Fry and Michael Heseltine.

“Now Lolo has signed up to do next year’s marathon, I’ll be starting my campaign for support again!”

The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability is a national charity, not funded by the NHS, which assesses and rehabilitates adults with traumatic brain injuries and provides long term care for people with severe neurological conditions, for example cerebral palsy.

October 19, 2005