A NURSE who took part in the 2.6 Challenge has smashed her fundraising target with help from friends and family.

Toria Pickering enlisted help to cover eight marathons and raise £7,300 for charity as part of an appeal by charities for people to fundraise on what would have been the London Marathon.

The mammoth effort happened after Toria, aged 31, suffered a health scare and had to give up her dream of entering the London marathon, which the coronavirus outbreak has seen postponed until October.

She said: “Months into my marathon training programme, I felt a lump in my pelvis.

“After many blood tests, scans and hospital trips, I was told I had a large tumour on my right ovary.

“Luckily, about two weeks later I found out it was benign, and I had emergency surgery at the end of March.”

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But she was determined to do her bit, and walked 2.6 miles on Sunday - while her friends and family walked or ran the rest.

She added:“With the help of my friends and family, we didn’t just cover the distance of one marathon but eight."

Toria, from Worcester, had already raised nearly £6,500 for a baby loss charity through her sponsorship from her planned place in this year’s London Marathon.

Tommy’s provides funding for research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, providing pregnancy related health information to parents, and

She said: “We raised a further £1000 for Tommy’s taking my total to over £7,300.

“After suffering a miscarriage in my first pregnancy, I know the pain it causes and how important it is to feel supported. I also work as a neonatal intensive care nurse at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, so I have seen the devastating effect that premature birth and neonatal death has on families.”

Worcester City councillor, Richard Udall said: “It’s absolutely marvellous for Toria to support such a great charity.

“Many people go through these issues and Tommy’s is able to give them the help and support they need.”

Tonia’s Just Giving page can be found at: justgiving.com/fundraising/victoria-pickering3.