Jessie will be Hannah’s shining star in half marathon!

Two best pals who have stood by each other through sickness and good health are in our thoughts today.

But, while Jessie Slack will be running in the London Landmarks Half Marathon next month to raise money for ME research, Hannah Avery can only think about how she also would like to be in the same race.

“ME is a long-term, multi-systemic diseases that affects an estimated 265, 000 people in the UK. One of those is my best friend Hannah”, 21-year-old Jessie wrote on her fundraising page.

“She became ill when we were both 13 and is still suffering at 21 – having been housebound for the majority of the last eight years. She is always exhausted, her sleep is always unrefreshing and she is always in some level of pain.”

Jessie, now working as a physiotherapist at the East Surrey Hospital in Redhill where she’s doing six-monthly rotations between disciplines, added:

“Any type of exertion – physical, cognitive or emotional – will exhaust Hannah even more, for days or weeks, so she has to be constantly aware of not pushing her body too far beyond its energy limits.

“Currently, there is no cure for ME and most of the research is funded by charities and sufferers and their friends and families. So I’m running the London Landmarks Half Marathon to raise money and awareness for Hannah and everyone else left with no treatment options for so many years.”

Hannah said : “From 10-minute visits to my darkened bedroom when I was fully bedbound to taking me out for drives or coffee shop dates now I'm a bit better, Jessie has been an amazing friend over the years. I'm sooo proud of her and love her very much!”

Jessie and Hannah are pictured, together with two other characters who play a big part in Jessie's life. On the left: her own dog, Lottie, a 10-year-old Cocker Spaniel. “She does the occasional Parkrun with me but really prefers her walks!” On the right: with Luna, a two-year-old Labrador, who stayed with the family for a few weeks and needed her runs to tire her out.

Hannah and Jessie grew up together in Oxted, Surrey, where they met in primary school. Their friendship continued through secondary school, even when illness gripped Hannah and kept her away from school. It continued while Jessie was away at university.

Two or three years ago, when Hannah was fully bedbound, the pair released a video on Instagram to a Taylor Swift soundtrack which contrasted the changes in Hannah's lifestyles. It showed the difference between everything they had enjoyed doing together when life was good for both of them and Hannah's shattered health at that time. Their fame spread as the video went viral, being seen by many thousands of people.

“Hannah’s a whole lot better nowadays but she’s got a long way to go.  But it’s great we’re able to take a few more trips out together nowadays”, said Jessie.

If you would like to donate to Jessie’s 2024 London Landmarks Half Marathon fundraiser, please visit:


Tony Britton
Senior Fundraising Consultant, The ME Association Mob: 07393 805566

Shopping Basket