Story

On the 4th of April 2012, Si's wife gave birth to their twin boys, Alex and Ben. They were born at 29 weeks, having developed a severe condition occurring in only a few identical twin pregnancies.

The boys were very sick when they were born and were immediately admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Georges Hospital in London. Alex and Ben spent a total of 35 days on the Unit, they defied all odds and exceeded all expectations. When they left hospital they were still 6 weeks premature. Despite the relative speed of their recovery and discharge, a conservative estimate of the cost of their stay in hospital is over £80,000.

First Touch is the charity attached to to the Neonatal Unit at St Georges Hospital. They fund specialist staff, support families during their stay, and purchase equipment for the unit. First Touch funded much of the equipment used to save the twins' lives, and provided Si and his wife with vital emotional support during their stay.

While we will never be able to repay the debt Si owes the NHS for the health of the twins (they are now thriving) but we hope to at least show our appreciation.

The Marathon des Sables (MdS) is a 250km, multi stage ultra-marathon run over 6 days in the Sahara Desert. We have to be totally self sufficient and carry all our kit and food for the duration of the race. Day time temperatures will reach 45 degrees. Water and a tent is the only support provided.

We have each done long, crazy races in the past, between us we have completed 4 Ironman triathlons and over 30 marathons, but this is by far the hardest race we have ever attempted. The MdS is regarded as the toughest foot race on earth, and we are genuinely quite scared.

The twins will be one year old on 4th April 2013, the day we leave for the desert, it will be a fitting closure to a very emotional year for Si and his wife. We hope that with your generous donations we will in some way be able to show our thanks to St Georges Neonatal Unit.

Updates 4

Completed the big one - 78km in one stint. Tom has lost his big toenail. Si's feet were so swollen, he could not get his shoes on the next morning, and the soles of his feet are badly blistered. But all in good spirits and looking forward to the last marathon tomorrow!

11/04/13 21:43

The boys have survived the first day, and even enjoyed it(!) despite a few blisters, hills, dust and 32C heat ... some fantastic photos on the official website: http://www.darbaroud.com/en/etape-1-stage-1-photos/category/4-etape-1-stage-1.html

07/04/13 21:06

Tom's national press debut: http://m.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/the-running-blog/2013/apr/01/running-marathon-des-sables

02/04/13 21:41

Look out for us in the Wandsworth and Wimbledon Guardian over the coming weeks.

27/02/13 21:34

Raising money for

First Touch

First Touch

Charity Registration No. 1072500

Supporting sick and premature babies cared for in the neonatal unit at St George's Hospital in Tooting. The charity raises funds for vital medical equipment and patient welfare.

Donations 252

heart.png

Fantastic achievement Dr Vickers, congratulations!! So what's the next challenge?!?!

Donation by vanessa gellard on 29/05/13

£15.00

+ £3.75 Gift Aid

Donation by Laure de Panafieu on 27/05/13

£100.00

windmill2.png

Congratulations to you all on your great achievement for a very worthwhile cause.

Donation by Bernadette Griffin (St Raph's) on 20/05/13

Donation by Emma and Andy Jackson on 15/05/13

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

smiley.png

Congratulations to you all, well done!

Donation by Kristiana Gordon on 10/05/13

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Superman.png

Congratulations - great achievement and great cause.

Donation by Tim Orme on 10/05/13

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

smiley.png

Just an amazing achievement, well done!

Donation by Caroline Privett on 09/05/13

£25.00

+ £6.25 Gift Aid

Superman.png

Well done - fantastic performance. And a very good cause too.

Donation by Alice and Ronald Pattinson on 09/05/13

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

trophy.png

More cash from Borrills, Gladwins and Jacques

Donation by Lynne Day on 09/05/13

smileys.png

Well done Tom & co - no mean task completing the event.

Donation by Mark O'Donnell on 02/05/13

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

ThumbsUp.png

I read your article in the Guardian. Massive congratulations and for a really good cause. MDS is on my list of races to do one day...

Donation by Anonymous on 01/05/13

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

windmill2.png

Well done Si. Tricia and Graham keep me entertained with the boys antics. Love Kathleen x

Donation by Kathleen O'Brien on 01/05/13

£100.00

+ £25.00 Gift Aid

Trophy.png

Awesome.

Donation by M&H on 30/04/13

trophy.png

Congratulations to you all. Fantastic achievement!

Donation by Katy Luffingham on 28/04/13

£40.00

+ £10.00 Gift Aid

Inmem.png

Congratulations guys, what an amazing acheivement. Well done!

Donation by Elise Harris on 26/04/13

£56.00

+ £14.00 Gift Aid

Jumping.png

Well done!

Donation by Sue and Dennis Bryant on 26/04/13

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

windmill2.png

Congratulations and well done! What an achievement!

Donation by Kathri and Gareth Lewis on 24/04/13

£25.00

+ £6.25 Gift Aid

trophy.png

Awesome effort guys, you can now put your feet up! congratulations....

Donation by Matt Argent on 22/04/13

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Trumpet.png

Good running

Donation by Robert Muir on 20/04/13

£20.00

heart.png

Dan and team, what an achievement, Congratulations to you all, best ihes

Donation by Shirley Salmon on 20/04/13

£100.00

smiley.png

Dan and fellow runners, Si & Tom, What a feat, well done to you all

Donation by Gordon & Virginia in Shaldon on 20/04/13

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Donation by Anonymous on 19/04/13

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

windmill.png

Donation by Anonymous on 19/04/13

£25.00

+ £6.25 Gift Aid

Donation by Anonymous on 19/04/13

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

present.png

Well done to your team on completing this arduous event.

Donation by Francis Colin Day on 18/04/13

Donation summary

  • * Online donations£7,391.31
  • Offline donations£381.50
  • Text donations£0.00
  • Total raised£7,772.81
  • Gift Aid£1,573.87

* Charities pay a small fee for our service. Find out how much it is and what we do for it.