Today my sister and brother both took part in the Oxford Half Marathon, pounding the streets to raise money for charities close to their hearts.
One of those charities was SSNAP. The Oxford based charity supporting the Neonatal Unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital where Clara spent her first six weeks of life.
To see thousands of people running, and even more thousands cheering on, was amazing. So many people moving for causes close to their heart, in memory of loved ones, or to challenge themselves in new ways. The streets were lined with people all frantically trying to spot a race-goer they recognised.
Both George and Jemma completed it with sub-2 hour times. It was Jemma’s first half marathon, and George is such a seasoned pro he was texting us updates on his way around as he ran along side Jemma, taking photos as he went.
After the race had finished, we headed over to the SSNAP tent. It was a fantastic set up with high calorie drinks and snacks for the runners, branded merchandise for all, and so many wonderful familiar faces.
We spoke to another family who we’d seen on Tom’s ward, their son also being under the surgical care of Mr Lee. They had friends and family around them, one of whom had just completed his 25th half marathon in 25 days!
Clara’s Neonatal Consultant had ran, along side other consultants, nurses, and researchers. One nurse picked up additional hours on Tom’s Ward and had looked after Clara there too. Despite having just ran 13.1 miles, they all took time out to say hello to Clara, to remark how well she looked and ask how her care was going. Her Neonatal Consultant wanted to make sure everything was in place and he didn’t need to arrange any further follow ups! He wasn’t even out of breath!
Thank you to everyone who took part – runner, supporter, steward. You all made a fantastic event incredible. And, with your generous sponsorship, you made the lives of future families on the Neonatal Ward that little bit more bearable.