Mum's marathon tribute to daughter

A MOTHER who lost her 36-year-old daughter in a freak white water rafting accident in Peru is running the London marathon to raise money for the charity that helped her in her darkest hours.

A MOTHER who lost her 36-year-old daughter in a freak white water rafting accident in Peru is running the London marathon to raise money for the charity that helped her in her darkest hours.

Professor Barbara Wilson OBE, now 66 and a world-renowned clinical psychologist in her field who lives at Flempton near Bury St Edmunds, lost her daughter Sarah Jones in May 2000.

Mrs Jones, a journalist who was living at the family home at the time, had been taking part in the extreme sport event with a guide and other holidaymakers in the Cotahuasi Valley when her raft hit a whirlpool.

The waters were especially treacherous and while four people were rescued, Sarah perished and her body never found.

Now Mrs Wilson is running the marathon and hopes to raise more than £6,000 for The Compassionate Friends (TCF), an organisation of bereaved parents and their families offering understanding, support and encouragement to others after the death of a child or children.

Mrs Wilson, who with her husband Michael wrote a book First Year Worst Year which begins with a dreadful telephone call that was to change the family life forever, said: “Just after Sarah died I saw the marathon on television and thought that one day I would run it for her.

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“I want to do it for Sarah and I am very excited, but also scared. I am following an 18 week training programme and was fit before, visiting the gym and swimming every day.

“People think I am mad or are terribly impressed, but I wanted to do this for the charity that supported me in my darkest hour.”

N If you would like to support Mrs Wilson you can visit the website www.justgiving.com/tcfbarbara