Ironman athlete raises over £2,500 for Worthing hospice

On Saturday 21 May, Andy Monk, 52, from East Preston took on a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile cycle, and 26.2-mile run in the Lanzarote Ironman Triathlon to raise funds for St Barnabas House hospice, who cared for his Mum, Jenny, when she died in 2021.

Ironman Lanzarote is known as the world’s most iconic and challenging Ironman races. “The race was brilliant, it was really hard, but I loved being part of an international sporting event,” says Andy. “The challenge was easy compared to the work the team at St Barnabas do, and that gave me the determination to push through and keep going.”

Andy has raised over £2,500 in memory of his Mum, Jenny. “Mum taught me to be happy and positive in life, she was an amazing woman,” says Andy. At the beginning of 2021, Jenny, 82, started to feel unwell. “We took Mum to the doctors as she couldn’t eat and wasn’t feeling herself, and we were told the news that we never expected – she had an aggressive form of cancer.”

At this point, Jenny’s health started to rapidly deteriorate. “We never found out where the cancer started,” says Andy. “She had it all over her body. The doctors suspected it started as ovarian cancer, but it had spread everywhere.”

Jenny had a two-week stay in hospital, and then went home, where she received care from the St Barnabas House Hospice at Home team. “We all thought that she had at least a few months, even years, left, as she was still happy and chipper in herself,” says Andy. “But she deteriorated really quickly and sadly died a few days later.”

“Everything happened very quickly,” says Andy. “But the St Barnabas House team gave us confidence that there was a plan. We knew there were people that could help us and that was a huge relief. We’re a strong family. Mum was laughing all the way to the end. St Barnabas just brought a degree of calmness and support that was really appreciated.”

“Mum was my biggest motivation for the Ironman Lanzarote challenge,” says Andy. “The support that St Barnabas House gave to my family combined with the sponsorship pledged gave me real determination and motivation.”

Sponsor Andy