More than 700 people run in celebration of the life of Holly Smallman and in support of WellChild

By Chris Hill · April 27, 2020

Smallman family

Over 700 people took part in a special virtual run on Sunday, 26th April. They ran either 5k or 10k in memory of Holly Smallman, dressed in her favourite colour pink.

Holly Smallman sadly passed away on 13th March. Holly was 18 years old and was cared for by her mum Hayley, dad Gary, brother Josh and sister Ruby. Since birth Holly had been seriously ill with multiple complex conditions including cerebral palsy, epilepsy and chronic lung disease. However, with the support of her dedicated and passionate family, Holly was able to live a fulfilled and adventurous life at home with them. Holly was often found at the theatre and on days out with her family, she even joined her local girl guides group and went camping; showing everybody that with her passionate family and the right support, anything is possible. Holly loved the colour pink, unicorns and rainbows; she brought a lot of joy to the people she met.

Sadly, due to the government restrictions on gatherings due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Holly’s funeral on 27th March could only be attended by her very closest family, meaning that the many people who Holly touched throughout her short life were unable to be there. In response, mum Hayley asked people on social media to #wearpinkforHol and join the family in celebrating Holly’s extraordinary life. Thousands did just that, posting pictures of themselves in pink to remember Holly.

The 730 continued to celebrate Holly’s life by challenging themselves to run 5 or 10km in her memory and in support for WellChild. They were also able to raise an incredible £4,386 for WellChild, helping our work with seriously ill children and their families, including our Covid-19 response programme.

WellChild CEO Colin Dyer said: “It’s amazing to witness the continuing outpouring of support for Holly’s family at this unimaginably difficult time for them. Holly led an extraordinary life, proving that with the right support, children with serious health needs can thrive at home. I would also like to thank everyone who took part in Run For Holly for supporting WellChild at this time where the children and families we help need us most”.

Kitty in run for Holly

One of the people taking part was 8-year-old Kitty, who has cerebral palsy. She was determined to do the 5 k challenge so decided to complete 1km a day in the lead up to Run For Holly so she could take part too.

Thank you to everyone like Kitty who took part in Run For Holly on Sunday 26th April!