28 Sep Grandmother to run marathon for Mercy Ships
Young at heart nurse and priest in marathon mission.
A 71-year-old Cirencester grandmother is set to run the London Marathon to help bring life-saving surgery to the world’s poorest nations.
Young at heart Reverend Angie Austin from Somerford Keynes has no plans to retire and is just completing a master’s degree while still working as an occasional agency nurse and delivering church services in the Thameshead Benefice.
The grandmother-of-seven and mum-of-four will be running to raise money for Mercy Ships.
Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class healthcare services, including surgery and training, to strengthen and support countries in the developing world that need it most.
Angie said: “I’m more a tortoise than a hare but I love running and when I saw that Mercy Ships had a place in the marathon, I applied. I believe so much in what Mercy Ships does. They don’t just go in and do surgery they make sure they work in partnership with the countries and their governments and offer training to leave a legacy.
Angie said: “I have assessed children with disabilities through my voluntary work in the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda. I have seen first-hand how hard it is for families in remote areas to access good healthcare.”
Angie did a half marathon when she was in her 50s and is running six times a week. She has so far run up to 14 miles in one stretch while training and plans to hit 20 miles in the coming weeks.
A former hospital nurse, then GP practice nurse and qualified nurse practitioner, she is an ordained minister and has also trained as a child psychotherapist before currently doing a master’s in Global Health. She also does talks for Mercy Ships in her spare time.
Angie added: “I feel like I am 50 and don’t feel the need to slow down yet. I’m going to be stepping up the marathon training in the coming weeks now that I have finished my dissertation.”
Since 1978, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 55 countries, with the last three decades focused entirely on partnering with African nations.