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April 12, 2014

Sarah Scowens wTHE LONDON Marathon is filled with many brave acts, but one by Hornchurch actress, Sarah (Scowen) Baxter (pictured left) has touched the hearts of us all in Havering.

Professional actress and member of the Queen’s Theatre’s Cut to the Chase Company, Sarah, is running the London Marathon today (Sunday April 13) to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease just days after her father John, lost his battle against this terrible illness.

The working light behind the Thurrock Drama Festival and Thurrock Court Players, John Scowen has been active in almost all parts of theatre in his home town of Thurrock, and over the years built up an enviable legend of admiration and affection for the gifts he has so readily given to others.

His was a mercifully rapid illness for no man of his stature deserved to suffer long, and he bore it with all the courage and determination he was known for.

And he has given that courage to his daughter, Sarah

Determined to mark his life, Sarah decided to take on the gruelling London Marathon, all 26.2 miles wearing the number 43531 with each mile dedicated to a man few will ever forget.John Scowen

Motor Neurone Disease took the British actor, David Niven some years ago. It is unforgiving, shutting every function of the body down. John (pictured right) stoically fought until the last though sadly, there is still no known cure.

The one charity is Motor Neurone Disease and this has been Sarah’s focus ever since learning of her father’s illness. At last count it has reached £7.771.00

John was a man worth remembering for all he gave to theatre so freely. His daughter needs no convincing that this is a way to discover a cure, even the beginning of a cure. All it takes is a control click on: to donate and give a very brave young woman something back for her effort and in memory of her beloved father, John.

Sarah Scowen’s fundraising page

My page:


Earlier this year my wonderful father was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. We had no idea at the time what this really meant for him and indeed us as a family. He has been quite poorly and spent some time in the London Chest hospital being looked at and examined. At present there is no cure for this disease and so will inevitably get worse over time. It affects every person differently, so far my dad Has limited use of his left hand and arm, is a bit wobbly on his legs and relies on a non invasive ventilator for most of the day and all night to aid his breathing as his diaphragm no longer works. Other than that he is still my dad, bright, bubbly, always making jokes and enjoying life. Most people that know me will know I’m not a brilliant runner but when I applied for this I told my dad that just as he has a big struggle and journey ahead so do I. We will try and overcome these mountains as we approach them and I intend on keeping him involved in my training the whole way along. The MND association have been brilliant. They have given us the information that we have needed to live a semi normal life and to adapt what our ‘normal’ was to something that can now be normal for my dad. Our day to day lives have changed dramatically and the MND are with us every step of the way. If you would like to donate to the MND please do via this page. I am not intending on running a brilliantly good timed marathon but by god I will get round that 26.2 miles even if I crawl! Thank you to all our family and close friends who have been a pillar of strength to mum and dad over the last few months, we all really appreciate it and could not have survived without all your love. As my dad is always telling me PMA- positive mental attitude, both me and him will be adopting this mind set to face our individual challenges. Love you daddy xxxxxxxxx


Facebook from Sarah: With 24hrs to go here are my final instructions for any supporters coming tomo. I shall be leaving Grays on the 7:29am train to head for the start. My mum and some friends will be leaving Grays at 9:24am to head straight for Surrey Quays (mile8/9) that’s the first point. They are then heading to Canary Wharf for lunch and wait for me at mile 18/19. It’s then onto Limehouse for mile 21 where the MNDA will be, just before the railway bridge hopefully in a sea of blue and orange t-shirts.

This will be my main supporting sight. I am going to register my chip on fb so you’ll be able to see when I start, when I reach halfway and when I finish.

Thank you so much for all your kind words over the last 4 days and for your continued support throughout my training process. I anticipate tomorrow will be one of the hardest days of my entire life but there’s a man that I promised I’d do this for and I’m not going to break that promise.

Through your support and strength I shall make the course I’m not bothered about a good time just to cross the finish line. I shall be in black Adidas leggings, bright blue t-shirt and running vest and black baseball cap. I have ‘Sarah’ on the front and back so if you see me please give me a shout. In the words of Macauley Culkin “This is it, don’t get scared now” xxxxx

And another : I went for my final run before Sunday today in my new running leggings.. They felt really tight and a bit uncomfortable but thought they’d stretch… Got home and thought they still feel a bit tight… Took them off and checked the label… Size 6!!! Ha!!!! No wonder they felt wrong! I’m suprised I even got them on!! Stupid idiot!!! Anyone want a pair of Adidas running leggings size 6?!!?

Motor NeuroneMND Association The Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association is the only national organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland dedicated to the support of people with MND and everyone who cares for them. We improve care and support for people with MND, their families and carers and fund and promote research that leads to new understanding and treatments, and brings us closer to a cure for MND. We also campaign and raise awareness so the needs of people with MND and everyone who cares for them are recognised and addressed by wider society. Our vision is a world free from MND. To find out more visit




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