A NARBERTH businessman running a ‘virtual marathon’ to raise funds for end-of-life charity Paul Sartori in memory of his late wife, who entered him in a ballot to take part.

Well-known Narberth and Pembrokeshire businessman Andrew Rees has had an extremely difficult last six months mourning the loss of his wife Janice, who sadly, after suffering depression for many years, took her own life in March.

On October 3, Andrew is running the Virtual London Marathon in memory of Janice, who entered him earlier in the year into the ballot for a place.

Andrew said: “Janice who was a nurse and always said that after she retired she would go and work for Paul Sartori. Back at the beginning of March Paul Satori had three entries for the marathon. They were asking people to put their name forward to enter into a ballot. Jan quickly phoned them and put forward my name into the draw.

“On March 22 - which was my birthday - I had a call congratulating me on my successful entry. The following day Jan took her own life; she was 51.

“Jan had suffered with the menopause and depression for a few years but to the outside world she always put on a brave face and no-one, certainly not me, was expecting her to do that.”

Andrew added: “She had an incredible career as a nurse with Hywel Dda University Health Board based at Withybush Hospital; she was a clinical lead nurse specialising in blood-borne virus, her expertise was in HIV and Aids.

“In the early days of Aids, when it was a taboo subject, she would be going to conferences all around the country listening to the experts. She ended up lecturing to consultants, doctors and nurses herself; we as a family were incredibly proud of her.

“Even with her own career, Jan was always there supporting me when I was building up the business. She was a wonderful and loving mother to our two sons Tomas and James and a doting Nannie to Jacob, Charlie and George. We all miss her so much. Jan was an amazing lady. Caring and thoughtful and always putting others first.”

James and Tomas, Andrew’s sons said: “After putting Dad forward for the virtual marathon, Mum was excited for him to do it.

"To still do it in the circumstances in her memory is something we are proud of. We will hopefully run some of the route with him and we wish Dad good luck on the 26-mile route, which he plans to do, starting in Ludchurch and ending in Narberth.”

Tomas has set up a just giving page for Andrew and the response so far has been incredible, and both Andrew, James and Tomas are amazed at people’s generosity.

“We’d like to say a massive thank you for everyone’s support and donations.”

Toni Dorkings for the Paul Sartori Foundation said: “We are delighted that Andrew has agreed to run the Marathon for us despite the challenging time he has had. We know that he will complete the marathon with ease and thank him sincerely for choosing the PSF as a charity to complete this challenge. It is such a wonderful thing to do to run in memory of Janice.”

If you wish to donate in memory of Janice whilst supporting this The Paul Sartori Foundation justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-rees14 or if you wish to give via BACS please telephone Andrew Rees Catering Unit on 01834860470 for the details.