Joan’s London Marathon Challenge

Joan Pons Laplana, a very passionate Nurse and long-term supporter of Cavell Nurses’ Trust, is taking his fundraising challenge to the next level by attempting to run the London Marathon dressed as a pint of beer, aiming to raise £10,000 to help nursing colleagues facing a personal or financial crisis.

The last two years have been very hard for everybody and especially for Joan and his frontline NHS colleagues.

During the first and second wave of the COVID pandemic, Joan was redeployed into the intensive care unit (ICU). Joan describes the work as bleak, and the experience hit him hard both emotionally and physically. At the end of second wave Joan was diagnosed with PTSD.

Joan says he initially he felt like a failure. He was ashamed to have had problems with his mental health. He started therapy and gradually regained his balance. With the help of the psychologist, he came to understand that mental imbalance is nothing to be ashamed of. His mental state was the result of the situation he had found himself in and many years of neglecting and not taking care of his mental health. He realised that stress and anxiety are illnesses that could affect everyone.

Since then, he has been raising awareness around mental health and trying to break the taboo surrounding opening up about mental health.

“Taking care of mental health is not a weakness – quite the opposite. The bravest thing a person can do is ask for help when they need it.” Joan says.

As part of his recovery plan, Joan started to run and on the 8th of February got an email congratulating him on getting a place in the 2021 London Marathon – the biggest marathon ever staged.

That was the goal he needed, and Joan has been training hard ever since. He has also joined his local running club and since February Joan has lost nearly 3 stone, but the most important thing is that his mental health and physical health have improved significantly.

On the 3rd of October Joan will not only run the London Marathon, he will be trying to beat the Guinness World Record of the Fastest Marathon dressed as a pint of beer! People can follow Joan’s progress on social media on the day by searching for #Pint4Cavell.

To support Joan’s incredible challenge people can donate via his Virgin Money Giving page or text CHEERSNURSE to 70085 and £4 will be donated to Cavell Nurses’ Trust.