Sunday, 4 March 2012

Childrens Hospital The Freeman guest blog Ivan, Nadine & gorgeous Sebastian

On Friday 6th April at 11am I set out on the hardest physical challenge of my life. I will attempt to run 100 miles in 24 hours from Eyemouth to Tynemouth (down the east coast of Northumberland).

When I tell people that this is my plan they tend to look at me with a slightly confused expression, followed by the obvious question: why the hell would you do that to yourself? To me the answer is simple and can be explained by my beautiful son Sebastian.

On January 11th 2009 our son Seb entered the world, to the joy of his Mummy & Daddy. Unfortunately 16 hours after he was born we were told the earth shattering news, that Seb had a Congenital Heart Defect called Tetralogy of Fallot; left untreated would mean he wouldn’t reach his 2nd birthday! At just 4 months old Seb underwent over 6 hours of open heart surgery and spent the following month scaring his Mummy & Daddy half to death during a very tricky recovery period in Hospital. Now at the age of 3, Seb is the happiest and most loving little boy you could hope to meet; although he will require further major surgery in the future, all is well at present.

The fact that Seb’s health is so good is testament to the amazing skills of the surgical and medical team at the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. As 1 of only 2 units in the UK that perform heart transplants on children, the Freeman represents a medical unit that are setting new standards in the treatment of the most poorly heart children and literally saving lives every day.

So how the hell do you say thank you to the people that saved your child’s life? You dedicate your life to raising money and awareness so they never run out of money and are therefore able to continue performing miracles on our little superhero’s. This is what my wife and I have done, and will continue to do for as long as we have the energy to.

To return to the original reaction when I tell people about my 100 mile run, the answer probably seems a little more straight forward. In an age where money is tight and the number of wonderful charity’s out there asking for our cash seems to be growing by the day; simple fundraising events are not always enough. Sometimes you have to put something on the table that expresses quite how important this thing is; which is what hopefully I have done with this challenge.
I understand that the 100 mile run represents not only the hardest physical challenge I have ever taken on, but also the most demanding psychologically and emotionally. It will force me to search inside myself far deeper than ever before and probably take me to emotional places that are quite dark. However let me assure you of one thing; I will finish it! The reason I will finish it is because of Seb and all the other heart children. The pain I will endure during the training and the run itself are insignificant when compared to what Seb suffered after his surgery. So when things get tough and I feel like I can’t go on; I will remember the long hours when Seb lay in Intensive Care, with more tubes and wires than seem possible for one so small. I will remember the 6 hours when Nadine and I had to distract ourselves whilst he was on the operating table, and I will remember the day that we thought we might lose him (pictured). Then I will put my head down, wipe away the tears and carry on; because it is all I can do.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and I hope you will support me in any way possible on April 6th and 7th as I make my way down the Northumberland coast.
Please visit our website at and follow us on Twitter To donate simply text ‘CHUF99’ to 70070 and enter 1, 2, 3, 5 or 10 for the amount you wish to donate.

ive had the pleasure last year of meeting the gorgeous seb
 pleasure to meet such a lovely family (shellybobbins stood here with seb & seb's daddy last year in carlisle)
Thank you for being a guest on my blog and raising awareness, good luck Ivan we know you can do it !!

Love Shellybobbins xxxx

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