Running for Charlotte - Dan's story

13 February 2017

Dan Newman, from Folkestone in Kent, tells us why he’s running the Brighton Marathon in April.

little child, charlotte, holding stetoscope sitting on hospital's bed to the left and a man in a sportswear holding medal to the right
Charlotte at Evelina London and Dan under the Olympic Rings

‘My niece Charlotte Newman has been in and out of Evelina London ever since she was born. She was born with a hole in her heart, as well as an extra digit on each hand and foot, and has also had numerous respiratory issues which have caused her to be admitted into the hospital for surgeries and operations.

‘For my family, Evelina London has been a godsend. Without their awesome care, there is a very real possibility that Charlotte wouldn’t be with us today, still fighting and coming on in leaps and bounds.

‘Not only have they taken great care of Charlotte but they have also helped my cousin Scot (Charlotte’s dad) and auntie Karen (Charlotte’s nan), while Charlotte has been in hospital for more lengthy stays. They helped get them accommodation near the hospital so that they are able to stay nearby. The care has been second to none - and she also got to meet CBeebies’ Dr Ranj!’

Charlotte with CBeebies' Dr Ranj!
Charlotte with CBeebies' Dr Ranj!

Giving back

‘In supporting the hospital by running the Brighton Marathon, I am helping to give at least something back for what Evelina London has done for Charlotte. I hope it will help continue the amazing work and help save other children’s lives.

‘I was inspired to run the Brighton Marathon as I ran it last year. I absolutely loved the atmosphere – the support from the people of Brighton was amazing! I’ve never experienced anything like it. The people calling your name as you run past and giving out jelly babies and bananas left me in awe.

‘My time wasn’t great last year – 4 hours and 17 minutes – and I was really disappointed. I soon realised at about mile 18 I had seriously underestimated the distance and hadn’t put in anywhere near enough training. So this year my goal is to go under 3 hours and 5 minutes, which would give me a good-for-age entry for the London Marathon and, hopefully, qualification for the Boston Marathon.

‘My training this year has been so much better. I am a steward working onboard P&O Ferries and live on-board for one week, which has made training a little bit more difficult as I have to do half my training on a treadmill at sea, and I find treadmill running exceptionally boring!

‘But I’m already doing long runs of at least 18 miles and my personal bests in shorter distance races have also dramatically improved. I took over 15 mins off my best half marathon time of 1:26:51 at the Windsor Winter Half Marathon. Hopefully, that will be fast enough to allow me to start with the elites at Brighton.’

World-class care

‘As a father to three of my own children, one who is still under a year, it is really reassuring knowing that – God forbid, should we ever need it - there are places such as Evelina London giving world-class care and saving lives.

‘I believe it is important to support the hospital in this way, as it relies heavily on donations and support to continue and even improve their great care, through buying new equipment, carrying out research and maintaining facilities.’

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