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Katy and Matt Howard

London Marathon 2019

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]Matt and I are honored to have been selected to take part in The London Marathon 2019 to raise money for Helen & Douglas House – a wonderful hospice which made such a difference to Ian’s life. Anyone who knows us will know that this will be a huge challenge for us (we are more of a movie and takeaway kind of couple rather than fitness fanatics!) but we are going to achieve this for Ian and do this in his memory. Every single step we take in training to the big day will be for him.[/p][p]We said Goodbye to Ian on 8th August 2018, aged 27. He was the most extraordinary young man who always saw the best in any situation. Ian was born with Muscular Dystrophy and succeeded all expectations. Although his life expectancy was early teens, we were lucky to have Ian in our lives for an extra 13 years. [/p][p]The 8th of August was our worst day as a family. Ian had been in intensive care for 3 days (he was originally taken to A&E with what we thought was a cold as he was struggling to breathe just 5 days before) My mum and I decided to stay at the hospital on the Tuesday night and at 3am we were woken by the intensive care team who informed us Ian was in danger and might not make it through the night. I had to make the calls to our closest friends and family to let them know it might be time to say goodbye. Incredibly, they all made it to the hospital within 15minutes! I remember the doctor coming in to see me whilst I was waiting for everyone to arrive and he told me that they had brought Ian back, that Ian was a fighter, that Ian did not want to die alone surrounded by hospital staff. Even the Doctor had tears in his eyes as he was speaking to me. When we went in to see him, surrounded by monitors and tubes, his heart rate was reaching 185bpm. The nurses told us he was stabilised and to go home to try and get some sleep but we decided to stay in case anything were to happen, we all sat in the relatives room chatting about our memories of Ian, it was a precious moment surrounded by sadness. [/p][p]Later that morning we were called into a meeting with the consultants who told us there was nothing else they could do to help prolong Ian's life. Ian had less than 1% muscle in his body due to his Muscular Dystrophy and his body was so weak, they explained that Ian didn't have a cold and that he was struggling to breathe due to his weakened muscles. His lungs were full of rubbish where his oesophagus hadn't been working properly, the doctor explained that it probably hadn't been working properly for at least eight weeks however Ian never complained or let on that something was wrong. [/p][p]At 1pm that afternoon, we said goodnight to Ian, he died surrounded by 10 of the people that loved him most in this world. It was the most perfect death that anyone could of wished for as we watched him fall asleep for the last time.[/p][p]We were lost without him and didn't know how we could go back to our day to day life ever again but then, we remembered who and how Ian was. Ian would not of wanted us to be sad, he even said to my Mum a few months before that he didn't understand why people cried at funerals as the person had already gone and that he wanted his funeral to be happy and full of colour and it certainly was![/p][p]When Ian was born he was given the life expectancy of midteens, Ian was 27 when he passed away. He loved his life As he got older his muscles weakened, his spirit did not. He was a HUGE arsenal fan and attended nearly every home game throughout the season over the last few years. And although he could never physically play football, he would spend hours playing Fifa on the PlayStation.[/p][p]2018 started as the most amazing year for us, my family watched us become Husband and Wife and Ian described it as the best day of his life, he was drinking pints of ale and even made an appearance on the dance floor! In June we went to his first ever music concert at Wembley Stadium to see Ed Sheeran which he loved. He went to Arsenal so much this year with my dad and also would love his weekly trips to the cinema and lunch with my mum. [/p][p]I really do believe that Ian fought for his family and friends, we could of lost him so many times in horrible situations but we didn't. Things could of been so different....when Ian died, Matt and I had only been back in the country from our Honeymoon for 3 weeks! Ian's courage and determination meant that we got a proper goodbye, to be surrounded by those who loved him the most now gives us an unbreakable bond. Whenever I feel myself getting upset, I think of what he would of told me to do and it gets me by.[/p][p]Ian was more than just a Brother to me and a Brother-in-Law to Matt, he really was our inspiration. Ian could find joy and laughter in any situation. He was brave, hilarious and a complete delight to be around. He was a massive part of our lives and we miss him so, so much. If everyone was more like Ian, the world would be a happier, merrier place![/p][p]My parents gave Ian the best life and cared for him so well. In 2012 Ian wasn’t very well and was in hospital for a few days, we thought we were going to loose him but he pulled through. One of the nurses asked about the help they received to care for him and was shocked when they replied they did it all themselves, she mentioned Helen and Douglas House. At first we didn’t want him to go, the thought of us just sending him away by himself seemed selfish however we booked to go and visit and to find out some more information as the nurse had suggested.[/p][p]As soon as we walked through the doors of Douglas House all of our worries disappeared. The staff were just incredible and the Hospice was a happy place, not a sad place that we imagined. Ian was fragile and had lost a lot of confidence but within a few visits of Douglas house, his confidence had grown, he started eating food which he hadn’t eaten in years and couldn’t wait to go back.[/p][p]The change in Ian was simply incredible, we always saw him as our ‘Baby Ian’ forgetting that he was a grown man and he would see his visits to Douglas house as his holidays. He developed a love of alcohol, made friends and even gave other guests tips and suggestions from his own experiences.[/p][p]The hospice not only made a difference to Ian’s life, it also impacted our family. My Mum and Dad were able to go abroad for the first time in 27years by themselves and I was able to enjoy days out just Ian and I but with the reassurance of having a carer waiting for us in case I needed them.[/p][p]Ian was surrounded by love, happiness and support from his family and all of friends but it was the independence and confidence that he learnt when he visited Helen and Douglas House which I really think helped prolong his life.[/p][p]Please help us raise as much money as possible for this amazing cause so that they can continue to help other people like Ian and their families, like ours.[/p]
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Share Katy and Matt's story


Apr 23, 2019

Sophie Calder

So proud of you both!! I can’t wait to have a celebratory drink with you both once it’s all over!! The best of luck for Sunday xx

£14.00 plus £3.50 Gift Aid

Apr 23, 2019


Good Luck xx

£8.00 plus £2.00 Gift Aid

Apr 21, 2019

Sam Goss

Good luck!


Apr 21, 2019


You’re doing great xx

£100.00 plus £25.00 Gift Aid

Apr 21, 2019


I've loved reading your story Katy and Matt, you are both an inspiration and Ian would have been very proud. Go smash it guys xx

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Apr 20, 2019

Julie Froment

Good luck to you both

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Apr 20, 2019


You are both bloody amazing and I’m so incredibly proud of you! Go smash it next Sunday..I’ll be there to cheer you on and celebrate once you’ve finished! Love you lots Gem x £20 for prize draw

£100.00 plus £25.00 Gift Aid

Apr 19, 2019

Jo Hercules

Good Luck Katy & Matt -you’ve done all the hard work now enjoy the day, it’s an amazing experience. 😊👍🏼


Apr 18, 2019

Jeff Oliver

Best of luck for the marathon. we'll be in London watching the race and will keep a look out for you

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Apr 17, 2019


Carolyn asked that Wills & Trusts make a donation on her behalf.