TWO women who have formed a friendship following the deaths of their dads are also supporting each other to run this year’s London Marathon.

Catherine Davies and Polly Baines both lost their fathers to cancer last year and met at a meeting of would-be marathon runners raising money for St Helena Hospice.

Both women, who each have three children, were supported by the hospice and want to give something back.

Polly’s dad, Tom Glover, was a popular farmer who died from bile duct cancer, aged 69, last May.

Mr Glover was well known for producing the ‘best strawberries in Essex’ at Mill Farm, just outside Thorrington, and for his 40 years in the agricultural sales industry. He was also president of the Tendring Show in 2016.

Polly, 39, who is also from Thorrington, said: “The hospice was an invaluable support to us as a family through those last few weeks when he was diagnosed as being terminal.

“In those last few weeks before he died I said to my husband, Mark, would he support me to train for the London Marathon and he said he would, obviously.”

The hospice supported Mr and Mrs Glover’s choice for him to die at home. Mrs Glover also accessed its SinglePoint advice and care service.

Polly said she and Catherine had been great training partners since meeting last October.

“We have gone from couch to marathon in a few months. We have enjoyed each other’s company and have a lot to talk about and know how each other feels.”

Catherine, 37 and from Boxted, lost her dad Bruce Frost to lung cancer last June when he was 77.

His death was the first bereavement Catherine had been through and it took its toll on her mental health.

Catherine said: “I wouldn’t have even said I had a mental health issue but I look back at how that impacted me and it was horrific.

The hospice provided advice to Catherine’s parents and Mr Frost was able to die at their Colchester home.

Seh added: “I then leant on the hospice quite a lot. I am still having bereavement counselling they provided to me and it really helped me understand I was beating myself up and not dealing with it very well.”

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