Thanks Susanne

If you have read this blog over the past three years, you will have come across some extraordinarily kind people. One such person is Susanne Douven, a native of the Netherlands and now working in New York City for Vodafone. In fact, we worked in the same team, though not for that long. She inherited my worst customer support, we had a good night out in a café near Paddington and a dinner in Manhattan. There was someone I didn’t know very well, offering to help. She and eight others would do the Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 19th, in aid of our family. I was overwhelmed.

Many runners in her team dropped out, due to injury, but not Susanne. You can read her account of the day below. Thanks to the many people who gave, many of whom I don’t know. If you would like to donate, there’s still time. Click here.

I’m not really a runner. My big motivation to start running a couple of years ago was to exercise and stay fit. Moving from Netherlands to NYC has motivated me to push my boundaries as so many people run along the Hudson river close to my apartment.

One day I decided to go for it and to start training for a half marathon so I had to amp it up from the usual 5K I was running. I also wanted to do something for Andrew as I feel so bad ALS has hit him so I decided to start a fund raising campaign within Vodafone.

Foto Susanne 2014

The training was harder than expected as I went thought my ankle a couple of months before and found out I didn’t fully recover. I was afraid I could not do it but thinking about Andrew made me commit and I forced myself to push though. My best friend came over to run the Brooklyn half Marathon together with me which was a huge support.


Still I was excited and nervous for the race. The weather was bad, we had to wait for over 2 hours in the pouring rain with 11 degrees but after the start it was an awesome experience. Even with the bad weather people were standing along the road cheering us up which gave me so much energy that I didn’t want the race to end. It was a lot of fun and a great experience and I’m so happy we have raised over 1500 GBP for Andrew and his family!

Thanks for all the donations big and small, everything helped!

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Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

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