A labour of love – but it did demand early starts before work!

July 29, 2021

At five in the morning, when most of us would want to snuggle deeper into the duvet hoping to drift back to sleep, Steve Dabell gets up, shakes both legs and steps outside to start running for his favourite charities.  

He has already run for heart, cancer, and stroke charities. Now Steve, whose daughter Eleanor recovered sufficiently from M.E. to secure a place at university, has finished running 10 miles every day for 10 days to raise money for the ME Association.  

“I’m a kind-hearted, larger-than-life Yorkshireman who regularly supports good causes. This year I ran for a charity that’s very close to home”, said 62-year-old Steve, who lives in Sprotborough just outside Doncaster, with wife Lesley, who is chief executive of Age UK Rotherham.  

Steve Dabell

“Eleanor was 15 when she was diagnosed with M.E. following a stomach infection. She has always been a high achiever, with academics being a big part of her life. Her plans were to study law or medicine at university, which were realistic courses for her grades, but that all changed with M.E.” 

Steve Dabell

Sixth-form was a huge challenge, with Eleanor only managing to get in for a third of the time. Despite continuing to work as hard as she could to get the best grades possible, she managed to pass only one A-level. Slowly her symptoms began to improve and she completed another A-level from home.

Eleanor, who is now 23, then successfully applied for a four-year marketing communications and advertising degree at Sheffield Hallam University. She’s now finishing her third year and has been on a placement at a Sheffield business. Eleanor has a flat in Sheffield which she shares with boyfriend Shreyas. 

One of Steve's routes around Sprotborough

“I got this idea for a 10-mile run every day from the Captain Tom Charity Challenge. We live in a beautiful part of the country and the runs never got boring. There’s always something different to see. Besides that, the exercise helped keep the weight down!”  

Steve, a former mining engineer, does his early morning runs before turning up for work as a regional manager with BOC Gases. It was their trucks, if you remember, that kept hospitals round the UK supplied with vital oxygen during the coronavirus crisis.  

Steve’s fundraising page is still open. If you would like to show your support, then please visit his JustGiving page and make a donation.

Tony Britton, Fundraising and PR Manager, ME Association

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