Don’t stop me now…
The Berry family have been inspired to run and fundraise for Evelina London to thank the hospital for the kind and expert care their son William has received for his cleft lip and palate.
Mum Soraya ran the Royal Park’s Half Marathon in 2016, and dad Tom is taking on the 2017 Thames Path Challenge. Apart from the challenge of running 100km, he’s doing it in fancy dress. As a No.1 fan of Queen, he will be enduring the experience dressed as Freddie Mercury!
Soraya shares William’s story with us here.
Long-term Evelina London visitors
‘We have been coming to Evelina London for over 13 years now – William had his first operation aged three months back in early 2004. Since then, he’s had several more operations at Evelina London and regular check-ups at the South Thames Cleft Service.
‘The cleft team and medical and support staff are always so kind to William, and my husband Tom and I are so grateful for the care William gets. Seeing your child going into theatre is heart-wrenching, and seeing them in pain afterwards is no better.
‘The medical staff who looked after William for his bone graft operation in March 2015 were fantastic. They helped William keep calm, and it really helped us to see him in good hands. William also spent time at Evelina School which was a really great way to distract him ahead of his operation.
‘No one wants to go to hospital, and for children in particular it’s a daunting and frightening experience. Evelina London tries its hardest to reduce that worrying feeling by making the hospital environment welcoming and friendly, and we are very grateful that William is looked after so well.’
Raising awareness of cleft lip and palate
‘Evelina London is very close to our hearts – we have seen first-hand how important the work it does is for children. Raising funds and awareness about cleft lip and palate and the treatment involved are two reasons for running for the hospital. However, the most important reason is William. We are extremely lucky to have him - he is absolutely amazing!
Lead image: Tom as Freddy Mercury and Soraya and William at one of their training runs last year