Meet the inspirational Team WellChild London Marathon Runners
Meet just three of the 110 inspirational Team WellChild London Marathon runners. Find out why Chris, Ross and Lora have decided to take on the 26.2 miles in support of WellChild.
Chris is dad to Geraint who won a WellChild Award in 2015. Geraint suffered a catastrophic brain injury at the age of 11, following an asthma attack and spent nine months in hospital, where he was cared for by WellChild Nurse Rhian. The family are also members of the WellChild Family Tree peer to peer support network.
Chris, who works as a self-employed painter and decorator is hoping to raise £2,000 for WellChild. Chris has been training hard to shake off an injury which prevented him from running. He remains determined and hopes that his efforts will allow WellChild to support even more seriously ill children, young people and families across the UK.
Chris is looking forward to the marathon and is busy getting sponsorship. You can donate to his Virgin Money Giving page here >>
Chris said: “I selected WellChild as my chosen charity as unfortunately myself and my family have had first-hand experience on how crucial the work that they do really is. Back in 2014, we spent around nine months in Noahs Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales in Cardiff, after my son Geraint had a near fatal asthma attack which subsequently resulted in him going into cardiac arrest. This left him severely brain damaged and needing round the clock care. We as a family had to deal with so many changes whilst caring for his everyday needs. We had to adapt to suddenly having a profoundly disabled 11-year-old, who couldn’t walk, talk or do anything for himself.
“Our WellChild Nurse Rhian, would visit daily on the ward and provide such a calming effect on us, we dreaded the weekends when we wouldn’t see her. Rhian helped us in so many ways, from what we needed to get our adaptions done in our house to filling in the mountains of paperwork we became confronted with.
"We all looked on Rhian as our Guardian Angel! Unfortunately, not all hospital Children’s Wards have access to a WellChild Nurse, as they are charity funded and are heavily reliant on donations from the general public.”
“I have managed to hit my fundraising target, however I would love to raise more money for this wonderful charity if possible, to give back to them in order to help other families like us. Fundraising for me has been a real challenge due to Coronavirus, being made redundant, setting up my own business alongside Geraint’s failing health. Amongst all this I tore the meniscus in my knee just two weeks into my training program, which caused me not to be able to train for nine weeks. However, I am back at it and with four weeks running behind me with a strapped-up knee, I certainly will be giving it everything I’ve got to get to the finish line in London on 3rd October. I would be so grateful if you would consider sponsoring me, to help keep this fantastic children’s charity doing the work that is vital for families like mine.”
Ross who is an Engineering Officer in the British Army, has bravely taken on the challenge of completing 26 miles dressed as Nessa the Nurse, WellChild’s 12 foot mascot costume.
A veteran marathon runner, Ross has already tackled the course in the huge Nessa the Nurse costume several times. This will be Ross’ tenth London Marathon, and he loves the reaction he gets out on the course. A dad of two, he empathises with the burden faced by families looking after children with complex needs and runs to help them receive the support they need. He has been training hard and is looking forward to supporting WellChild on Sunday.
“I hope to help the charity to improve the lives of as many sick children as possible. I have been supporting WellChild for 15 years now and think it’s a wonderful charity which delivers amazing support to the young people it helps.”
Lora, who works at Mushroom Theatre Company as a care assistant, is running the marathon in order to raise money for WellChild.
Lora’s son Jake was winner of a WellChild Award in 2018. Jake has spinal muscular atrophy, he is a wheelchair user and his muscles are gradually weakening because of the condition. He loves acting and has appeared on stage and TV. Lora has supported, and been supported by, WellChild for several years and is an active member of the WellChild Family Tree peer to peer support network.
Lora has been training hard for the marathon and is busy getting sponsorship to reach her fundraising goal. You can donate to her JustGiving page here >>
“The work that WellChild does, from providing nurse care to creating family networks to home adaptations is extensive, and much needed. We had such an amazing time at the WellChild Awards as well. It’s just a way of trying to say thank you for all they do.”
“It’s great that Chris, Ross and Lora are prepared to run the 2021 London marathon to help us. For many of the children, young people and families we support, just getting through the day is a huge challenge. On their behalf I thank all Team WellChild runners for all the hard work they have put in. The last 18 months have been a tough time for all charities, with the COVID pandemic putting a great strain on our fundraising. When the COVID-19 crisis took hold, we lost 60 per cent of our forecasted income. At the same time, the families we supported were placed under more pressure than any of us can imagine. As the world returns to a ‘new normal’ many of our families face ongoing challenges.”