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Epic ultra-marathon fundraising challenge in memory of a beloved wife and Blue Cross vet nurse

John Hunsley and Grimsby team
John Hunsley (centre) with the Grimsby animal hospital team

A devoted bereaved husband is taking on the challenge of a lifetime in memory of his beloved wife and Blue Cross veterinary nurse, who sadly passed away last year.

John Hunsley is running the Marathon des Sables, a six-day ultramarathon across the Sahara Desert in Morocco, as a tribute to his wife Janice, who died following a long and difficult illness in October 2018.

Janice Hunsley had worked at Blue Cross Grimsby animal hospital for over 40 years and was a well-liked and respected member of the team and in the Grimsby community, having spent decades caring for pets in the area.

Janice Hunsley with black and white cat
Janice Hunsley with one of her patients at Grimsby animal hospital

Fellow Blue Cross veterinary nurse Michelle Clarke: "Janice was head nurse at the Blue Cross when I started as a vet nurse trainee in 1986. She has always been a good friend and colleague in the years since, always there to lend an ear during life's challenges.

"She always had time for you, whatever the circumstance. I will remember her as a very special person, who always maintained a positive attitude and approached life with a good sense of humour and a wry smile."

The Marathon des Sables is described as “the toughest footrace on earth” and requires entrants to run the distance of about six regular marathons amid temperatures in the forties, all while carrying a backpack.

John’s JustGiving page says he is taking part “because it’s helping me cope with losing my wife, Janice”.

He is aiming to raise £5,000 to help many more sick and injured pets just like those Janice cared for during her many years as part of the Blue Cross team.

Faith Woodcock, Grimsby animal hospital manager, said: “Everyone at Blue Cross is fully behind John and spurring him on. We’re so grateful he’s taken on this epic challenge, and are in awe of what he is doing. 

“It’s very fitting that the money John raises will go towards helping sick and injured pets, just as Janice did for so many years.”

If you would like to show your support for John, sponsor him on his JustGiving page

— Page last updated 12/04/2019