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Dru Hamm – RIP

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 Walk and walked more than four and a half miles raising £4,500 for the Grace Third World 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 a half 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 presentation.

In 2006 Dru was featured in front of an even bigger audience on Sky TV as part of their documentary about the Parish Walk:

This legendary willpower is lost but her memory never will be.

Murray Lambden, 4 November 2009






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