Hilton Lindo, our fundraiser of the month

We have a star fundraiser of the month that we would like to share with you – Hilton Lindo! Here he explains how he goes the extra mile to secure all the donations he can for his marathon

Hilton Lindo is running the London Marathon for us for MS-UK for the second time and will stop at nothing to raise funds for us in aid of his lovely wife who was diagnosed over 20 years ago – just six months after their wedding

In 2018, I was fortunate enough to be selected by MS-UK to run the London Marathon, which was without a doubt one of the most incredible experiences of my life!

So, some six years later, a little older, maybe a little wiser, acutely aware of the fortune of good health and just a mere few days after a BIG milestone birthday (hint, not 25, but maybe 25 for a second time!) I am running for MS-UK once again!

I chose MS-UK again as it is a wonderful small yet national charity, punching above its weight, giving support to those affected by MS and their families.

I see it as an honour and a privilege to do something that will directly impact those with MS, such as my wife.

My wife has had MS for 20 years – she was shocked to learn she had the condition just six months after our wedding (it is our 21st wedding anniversary this coming summer).

Initially, she experienced mild to moderate relapsing remitting symptoms. However, in recent years this has developed to a more advanced secondary progressive stage. Her mobility changed from being able to walk, to stick use and then to everyday wheelchair use.

She cannot even walk a couple of steps now and battles fatigue, muscle spasms and stiffness on a daily basis, all the while still remaining positive, inspirational to many people around her and a wonderful considerate caring mother to our teenage son. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to run the marathon for this great cause and really should stop moaning about my temporary pains after a training run!

How I raised £5,000

Don’t be shy, and share, share, share! It is the British condition to be bashful about your goals and achievements (me too, believe it or not!) but to be successful in fundraising for a great cause, in my opinion, the key is to tell everyone about it frequently.

In my experience, for every one person who might think ‘he’s going on about it again!’ there will be at least nine people who find it incredibly inspiring. As the saying goes – ‘how do you know if someone is running a marathon? Don’t worry, they will tell you!’

Following a similar strategy to last time’s successful effort, I decided to share my story early and frequently across channels. I started by directly messaging family, friends, and colleagues old and new who I knew would be interested and more than happy to contribute.

I then shared cross-posts and stories regularly, typically monthly and after a significant event (for example, a milestone run, a race, or even just overcoming a run in particularly bad weather, of which there has been many!) on Instagram and Facebook. Both platforms give you a great opportunity to share your JustGiving link in a fun and engaging way with pictures (everyone loves a humorous picture), sounds, words and gifs and emojis.

I also shared my story at work in our internal slack channels and on my professional LinkedIn page, all with great feedback.

Sharing posts on the last Friday of every month has also proved fruitful as people tend to feel more generous when they have just been paid!

Recently, I proactively contacted a couple of local newspapers with my story, and they were more than happy to publish an article.

Finally, I had some business cards created (via Vistaprint) with a photo on and my fundraising link. These have been really handy to give out frequently to people who may not be on your social media. I keep a handful in my wallet all the time, and to date have given cards out to my postman, plumber, window cleaner, local shopkeepers and even random passers-by whilst out on a jog who seemed smiley and receptive – this has resulted in a few more donations.

From the comments people leave on my JustGiving page it is clear people find it a hugely worthwhile cause and also shows how prevalent MS is, as many have commented they have family members or friends with MS too.

I am constantly reminding myself that I must remember all of these fantastic achievements and well wishes when the going gets tough in the last few miles of the marathon. I cannot wait!

Hilton Lindo is fundraising for MS-UK (justgiving.com)