I don’t usually post stuff like this, but this is such a good cause and close to my heart as a parent. Just this week, I found out that every year there is not just a full programme of Races For Life to raise money for Cancer Research, but there is a Race for the Kids too.
RBC sponsor the Race For Kids family fun run, allowing the whole family a chance to walk, run or hop their way to the finish line to raise money for the one and only Great Ormond Street Hospital. This year’s race happens in just under a month, on Sunday 8th June, in London’s beautiful Battersea Park.
I’m gutted that we won’t be able to take part this year. I think it would be really good fun and achievable for us all, especially now Little Chap is older (and he does love a good run!). It would make a great day out together as a family and a great way to combine being active with doing something worthwhile for a really important cause, even if we ended up walking it.
Almost ten years ago, a colleague (who was a keen runner) encouraged me to take part in a 5k Race For Life. I was a guilty non-runner wishing I was a runner, so agreed to give it a go. I followed their crash training course which got me from 0-5k in just three or four weeks and ran a very respectable race somewhere in the 40 minute zone I think. I won’t pretend it didn’t take some discipline to get through the training, but it was achievable and it helped to focus on the fact that it was for a good cause, that it was only for a few weeks and that with any luck it might generate a new habit!
I felt properly exhausted afterwards – and for most of the long train journey home – but in the best way possible. I had achieved a big personal goal, raised a few hundred quid for a really worthwhile cause and one that at the time had a personal connection, having lost members of our extended family to cancer and had others suffer and, thankfully survive.
Great Ormond Street Hospital is another good cause close to my heart. When I had my 20 week scan, it showed Little Chap had a dilated renal pelvis (in layman’s terms: a tube connecting the bit of his kidney that collects urine with its route out to his bladder was smaller than it should have been, causing the dilation they’d spotted). Thankfully, due to excellent proactive care and monitoring by the NHS from the womb through to his fifth birthday, our brave Little Chap has been lucky enough to stay healthy, not suffering any infections or complications as a result or needing further treatment or surgery. In fact he was finally signed off with a clean bill of health at the last visit. Great Ormond Street Hospital provided a great deal of his care, for which we are still very grateful.
When your tiny baby is not 100% in some way, no matter how small a concern, as a new parent, still trying to get to grips with no sleep, breast-feeding and nappy changing, it is nothing short of terrifying to imagine that helpless scrap for whom you’d happily wrestle tigers is enduring any kind of pain or discomfort. Knowing our Little Chap was under the care of a GOSH consultant reassured us no end. Our annual visit to their kidney clinic to get the ultrasound that told us how things were progressing was undoubtedly stressful but so much easier because they were just so great with Little Chap. Because they only deal with kids, the medical team knew exactly how to put Little Chap at his ease, when to get the tricky bits over as quickly and efficiently as possible and they always had something available to distract him, from toys to get him to talk to the consultant, TV to distract him during the scan (with a mirror so he could still watch when he rolled over!) and an “I’ve been brave” gift they really had thought of everything.
The depth and breadth of care available to kids and their families who experience any number of run of the mill or extremely rare conditions (and everything in between) is frankly breathtaking. I can only imagine how overwhelming it must be to learn your precious child has a life threatening or quality of life reducing illness, not to mention how awful for the child. I’m sure there isn’t anywhere else you’d rather be at that point than a place like Great Ormond Street where the specialist doctors and nurses offer the finest standards of pediatric care in the world coupled with much-needed advice and reassurance for parents.
The money raised from race supporters will help to redevelop Great Ormond Street Hospital, providing more patients with better facilities. Patients are already benefitting from the redevelopment – but they still have a long way to go. Click here to learn more.
There’s still plenty of time left to sign up, there’s no pressure to run if you’d rather walk and the whole family can take part, buggies and all! So please invite your friends and family and help them make this the biggest yet!
If you decide to go along and blog about the experience, do please link back here to tell me all about it!