Two Tom’s Trust fundraisers have spotted themselves on the first page of the new Guinness World Records 2023 book.
Kerry Bullen, 49, and Troi Baxter, 28, broke the record for the fastest marathon with two females handcuffed together in the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 3rd October 2021, with a time of 3 hours, 30 minutes and 8 seconds.
After winning ballot places, they set themselves the unusual challenge to raise awareness for the difficulties children with brain tumours face, and raised more than £6,000 for Tom’s Trust, a charity which provides mental health care to children with brain tumours, as well as their families.
The money has meant six more families have been able to receive mental health care from a psychologist over the past year. The pair recently bought the newly released book and can be seen featured on the first page in Tom’s Trust running vests.
Troi, a dentist from Newmarket, Suffolk, said: “Kerry initially bought the book when it was first released a few weeks ago and didn’t think we were in it, only to find out this week that we are actually in it, on the very first page of their records. I’m not sure how she missed it!
“We are so pleased to have smashed the record to become Guinness World Record Holders at such an amazing event, and it’s really exciting to have spotted ourselves in the book. We are so pleased to have raised £6,000 to support Tom’s Trust and all the incredible work the charity does.”
The extra challenge aimed to represent the disabilities faced by children with brain tumours, which are the side effects of the life-saving medical and surgical treatments they have to undergo.
Kerry has three children – Olivia, 19, Alex, 16, and Ben, 14 – and chose to raise money and awareness for Tom’s Trust because her children went to school with Tom Whiteley, in whose name the Cambridge-based charity was founded after he sadly died at the age of nine in 2010 from a brain tumour.
Kerry, who works for a wealth management company and lives in Burwell, Cambridgeshire, said: “I’ll never forget the devastating letter we got from the headteacher when we learned Tom had died. I had children the same age and I’ve been motivated to help the charity ever since.
“We wanted to do something that would on some level represent the struggles these children go through to recover from a brain tumour. Out of those who survive, the majority have lifelong disabilities as a result that need ongoing support. We wanted to do something big to draw attention to the charity and the help it gives these children and their families.”
Debs Mitchell, Tom’s mum, who co-founded the Cambridge-based charity, said: “We were so excited to see Kerry and Troi in the Guinness World Records book. We can’t thank them enough for all their phenomenal fundraising which has changed the lives of children with brain tumours.
“Sadly, one in three children with a brain tumour will die, and there’s, quite rightly, a big focus on life-saving treatments. But out of those that survive, 62 percent will be left with lifelong disabilities such as blindness, hearing loss, lost motor-function or learning disabilities.
“This is a topic which often comes secondary to initial tumour treatment, but it’s a focus for us at Tom’s Trust as families need support for years after their medical treatment, due to massive life changes.
“That’s why we’re so thrilled to see Kerry and Troi draw attention to this important topic.”
It’s not too late to donate to Kerry and Troi’s fundraising page, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/marathonhandcuffed
You can catch Kerry and Troi on their Instagram page, @bundlesofrun
To sign up to your own challenge for Tom’s Trust, go to www.tomstrust.org.uk/get-involved