Helen and Douglas House set to benefit as hundreds get splattered for charity IT was a sight to behold as 700 runners were covered in powdered paint in a multicoloured Rainbow Run.

They were bombarded as they ran through University Parks on the 3km route as part of yesterday’s Helen and Douglas House fundraiser.

More than 100 competitors made up Team Thomas, which ran in memory of Bicester youngster Thomas Laurie, nine, who died earlier this year.

His mum Catherine, 42, dad Richard, 45, sister Ellie, 12, were among those taking part, and said Thomas would have enjoyed it.

Thomas had Cockayne syndrome, a rare genetic premature-ageing condition, and died at the East Oxford hospice in February.

Mrs Laurie said: “I was really amazed so many people turned up to help us celebrate Thomas, and at the same time we really wished he was here, he would have absolutely loved this.

“He loved anything colourful and he loved to be with his friends and family.”

Oxford Mail:

Catherine and Richard Laurie

Among the entrants was Sian Davies, 16, who has heart and lung problems, and was pushed in her wheelchair by hospice staff Gemma Radnor and Alex Daly.

But the Wantage teenager stood to walk the final yards across the finish line. Before the race started she said: “I’m looking forward to being painted.”

Teaching assistant Suzanne Watts put together Team Madley Runners, a group from Witney’s Madley Brook School, in memory of her nephew Ben Illingworth, who died aged nine in 2012. The hospice still supports his twin Ollie.

The boys were diagnosed with Sanfilippo syndrome, a fatal metabolic disease which leads to the degeneration of the central nervous system.

Ms Watts ran with her daughters – Amy, 11, and twins Ceara and Jasmin, both eight, and hopes to raise £500.

Emma Gibbard of the Caked In It team from Witney, hopes to raise £250.

She said: “We are definitely doing it again next year.”

The hospice hopes to raise about £30,000 from the event.

Spokesman Janet Carruzzo said the event was based on the Indian Holi festival which involves throwing coloured powders as a symbol of peace and love.

Oxford Mail:

Sian Davies, 16, at the finish

See oxfordmail.co.uk for a video and a picture gallery from the event

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