Running for our VIPs
19-year-old Freddy and his dad Ian ran the Southampton half marathon in April and raised an incredible £1,340 for Evelina London.
Freddy’s little brother George is a patient and now, in his final year of taking part in the British Transplant Games, the money Freddy and Ian raise is going towards sending the mighty Evelina VIPs to compete in the competition.
George first became ill aged 14 in April 2013 and was diagnosed with meningococcal septicaemia, a type of blood poisoning caused by a certain type of bacteria. He battled bravely in intensive care for four weeks before finally beating the infection, but sadly suffered severe renal failure as a result.
George was transferred to Evelina London. He received dialysis treatment for 18 months, and in June 2014 received a kidney transplant, for which his mum was selflessly the donor.
The surgery was gruelling for both George and his mum, but thankfully it went well. Freddy says that George, now 17, is, ‘back to his active, funny, enthusiastic and typically annoying brotherly self!’
‘The best team ever’
Each year, George, along with many other transplant recipients at Evelina London, takes part in the British Transplant Games. The games are held over three days, encouraging transplant patients to regain fitness whilst increasing awareness of the need for people to join the organ donation register.
Freddy feels passionate about the benefits the games have had on his brother.
‘The event gives every child competing a huge emotional boost,’ he says. ‘I’ve witnessed The Games' ability to make people share their stories, be with others in exactly the same boat as themselves, and come together as a countrywide community in support of a worthwhile and rewarding cause.
‘In George's last year competing, I want to recognise the incredible work of all the staff at Evelina London and their efforts in organising our team, the best team ever - the Evelina VIPs! The donations will contribute to the weekend and hopefully put an even bigger smile on the faces of children who have endured so much already in their lives.’
Giving recognition and support
The Southampton half marathon took place in April, with Freddy and Ian both completing it successfully and raising a fantastic amount.
‘The day was really fun, everyone came out to support and I was fuelled by a never ending supply of children giving out sweets,’ says Freddy. ‘People were cheering me on in my spotty vest all the way round - I loved it!
‘Raising money is important, and it’s also a fantastic way to get the word out about certain diseases, impairments and injuries that may not be well known. Fundraising gives the medical and support staff the recognition and thanks they deserve, in addition to making patients’ lives hopefully a little easier.’
This year’s British Transplant Games are being held in Liverpool on 28 – 31 July. If you’d like to support the Evelina VIPs in taking part, there are many ways you can do it - find out more!