Sunday, 9 August 2015

Emma Hill

I was given the opportunity to speak with the bubbly Emma Hill, Associate Director of Now Careers and sister-in-law to the late Scott Sullivan, founder of the MND and Me Foundation.

Originally from Brisbane, Hill spent 20 years in Sydney before moving back to Brisbane when her sister, Sarah Sullivan broke the news about her husbands MND diagnosis. She moved in with the Sullivans and their two children to provide assistance and support through what would be their toughest challenge.

When asked how she decided to do the marathon, she giggles at the thought and says “I was at the MND and Me Gala dinner in March this year and after a few drinks decided to sign up for the New York Marathon.” Having not done a marathon previously or been to New York, she figured “if I am going to do one, the New York one would be the one to do”.  

We spoke about the motivation behind doing the marathon and it was evident that Scott Sullivan played a major part in this. “I saw what he achieved after he was diagnosed with MND and it gave me the inspiration to want to help raise awareness and funds for the disease”.

This will be Hill’s first and most likely only marathon however she did complete two half marathons in Sydney, be it many years ago. Hill started training rather late and has had a few injuries but is happy that she has reached the 15 km mark.

There is a group that train together four times a week. She alternates with her sister due to having the kids and she describes the importance of supporting each other. Her upcoming program consists of running the Brisbane half marathon as well as the twilight half marathon in September. She also plans to do the Bridge to Brisbane as a group. By the end of September, early October she hopes to be completing at least one 35 km run before hitting New York.

She talks passionately about preparing herself mentally and drawing inspiration from her brother-in-law, who ran a half marathon just after he was diagnosed and also cycled from Brisbane to Sydney 12 months before he passed away. She also watched her sister do a marathon a couple of years ago when Scott challenged her. Her inspiration comes from many different people.

Although she is not entering the marathon to break any records, she would like to complete it within five or six hours. I asked her to describe how she thinks she will feel when she approaches the start line. She says “I’ll be trying not to be sick. I’m going to be very nervous and anxious. It’s not something I’m looking forward to at all.”

Her post marathon recovery strategy is fairly straightforward – keep the muscles active by walking, wear compression tights, get a massage and lots of magnesium powder. “An ice bath would be ideal, but I’m not sure the hotel would have enough ice for everyone”.

As for her chosen charity, the family history plays an important part. Although she has done a lot of work with other charities, as soon as her brother-in-law was diagnosed with MND and she found out what MND was and what a horrible disease it is, she has dedicated her time to help fund raise for this particular charity and will continue to do so to help carry on what Sullivan started. All too often we forget about the importance of family and supporting each other and Hill certainly reiterated this.

Her company Now Careers, a construction recruiting company working in sponsorship with MND and Me, helps sponsor events to raise money. The Sydney office has chosen the Sydney Children’s Hospital to sponsor and have recently managed to raise over $30,000. The Brisbane office has decided that MND and Me will be their charity partner and any sponsorship or fund raising they do going forward will be for MND. Can they beat the $30,000 recently raised for the Sydney Children’s Hospital? With your help they can.
To sponsor Emma, head to:

Author: Hayley Polsen

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