Dru Hamm is one of the most unlikely people to ever
have appeared on an athletics website.
She was born with cerebral palsy and there were doubts
that she would ever walk. It took all
her willpower, several operations and many hours of physiotherapy before she
did. That stubbornness in avoiding
defeat was a quality that was to be seen throughout the all too few 38 years
that she lived.
In 2006 she entered the Clerical Medical Parish Walkand walked more than four and ahalf miles raising £4,500 for the Grace ThirdWorld Fund which was used for corrective surgery on a child polio victim in India.
Despite all of her personal setbacks she told Isle of Man Newspapers that she was lucky after seeing deprived children in Romania and she decided to return to the 2009 Parish Walk to raise funds for the Hands of Hope Charity which supports poverty stricken families in Romania with parenting skills, education and food parcels. These were the words she used when interviewed: “I said I would go out with the charity and last November I did, and in doing so I realised from the visit how lucky I am.”
She planned to walk to Santon in the Parish Walk this time, a distance of eleven and ahalf miles.
Few doubted that she would make it. I certainly didn’t as I had learnt about her determination when she was
still a teenager. 21 years ago I turned
her down after interviewing her for an office junior position with a firm of
chartered accountants. I advised her to
go back to school and get her “A” levels and then to go to university. Five years later she returned with a degree
and was recruited by the training partner as a graduate trainee.
She had her setbacks there too but eventually qualified
as a chartered certified accountant whilst working for Crossleys in Ballasalla,
a firm she returned to for her fourth stint earlier this year. She was a past President of the local Institute
of Chartered Certified Accountants.
Her achievements in walking to Santon this year were
recognised not just with the good work that was carried out in Romania with
the money she raised but with the personal recognition of receiving the Manx
Telecom merit award in front of hundreds of people at the Parish Walk prize
In 2006 Dru was featured in front of an even bigger
audience on Sky TVas part of their documentary about the Parish Walk:
This legendary willpower is lost but her memory never will be.