Cornard’s Ben completes marathon in memory of Connie, 11

Ben Kemsley completed the London Marathon, supported by his university friends.

Ben Kemsley completed the London Marathon, supported by his university friends.

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A student from Great Cornard has raised £2,586 for the Meningitis Research Foundation in memory of a former fellow school pupil.

Ben Kemsley wanted to remember his friend Connie Denton who died when she was 11.

Connie Denton

Connie Denton

Ben first met Connie at primary school when they were in Year 4 together.

Described as a “happy, bubbly little girl, full of love for her friends, family and for life”, she was only 11 years old when she was sent home from Great Cornard Middle School in May 2009 as she felt unwell.

Just two days later, Connie, from Danes Court in Great Cornard, died from meningitis.

Ben is now 19 and studying media studies at Ravensbourne University in London.

Ben Kemsley completed the London Marathon, raising more than �2,600 for The Meningitis Research Foundation

Ben Kemsley completed the London Marathon, raising more than �2,600 for The Meningitis Research Foundation

To boost the funds raised by Ben, his mum Karyn, a friend of Connie’s mum, organised a bingo evening at Boxford Village Hall, with stalls including a cake sale and build-a-bear.

To complete the 26.2miles, Ben ran in the gym at university during the winter and then pounded the streets around London and around Great Cornard when he was at home.

The teenager, from Game Close, completed the race in five hours and 23 minutes.

He was supported by both his family and friends, as well as Connie’s mum Jill, who cheered him on at 17-mile mark and at the finishing line.

Ben Kemsley completed the London Marathon, raising more than �2,600 for The Meningitis Research Foundation

Ben Kemsley completed the London Marathon, raising more than �2,600 for The Meningitis Research Foundation

“She was always happy, smiley and loved her friends and her life,” said Ben. “Connie will never be forgotten and that is why I have chosen this charity.”

Ben is hoping to raise £1,500 on his online funding page. You can donate to his fundraising page by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ben-kemsley1.