My youngest son, Oscar, was diagnosed with cancer last April. The day after my 40th birthday, he was admitted to hospital where doctors discovered a tumour in his pelvis which was later diagnosed as a soft tissue Ewing's sarcoma. At diagnosis it measured 11cm by 9cm by 7cm. That's huge in an adult but an unimaginable size in a 4 year old.
Since April last year he has undergone continuous cycles of chemotherapy every 3 weeks (12 to date), had numerous CT scans and MRIs, had a Hickman line inserted permanently in his chest, had a catheter for 2 months, countless blood transfusions, platelet transfusions, 8 weeks of proton radiotherapy in the US, many re-hospitalisations with infections when his blood counts are low, a bone scan, regular heart and kidney tests, a bone marrow harvest and more.
He is an inspiration. He is my hero. He is my son.
Nothing can prepare a family for what you all go through fighting this devastating disease. The support that Latch provide for children and their families is massive; big things like arranging the logistics of Oscar's treatment in the US and paying for flights for Oscar's brothers to visit him over there, and smaller but no less important things like going to Tesco to buy meals and teabags for us when we've been staying in hospital with Oscar for prolonged periods. They provide fantastic play staff to keep the children busy and happy while they're in hospital and family accommodation above the children's oncology ward, which is critical to families who can live over two hours away from the hospital. They fund the purchase of medical equipment which can be outside of NHS budgets and a range of clinical projects. They work incredibly hard to make life easier for families going through extremely tough times.
I want to raise awareness of the great work that Latch do and help raise significant funds to support their provision of assistance to other children and their families.
I wanted to undertake a challenge that would grab your attention, hopefully encourage you to read Oscar's story and see his video montage, and that makes you want to support our fundraising. I am running the London Marathon on Sunday 26th April and then the following day, Oscar's 6th birthday, I start 5 continuous days of around 32 miles a day to get me back to the University Hospital Wales in Cardiff (160 miles/250 km plus the London Marathon as a warm up!). The plan is to arrive back on Friday 1st May which will be one year to the day since Oscar's treatment started.
We are very fortunate that we have had fantastic family and friends supporting us over the last year and it seems that in this challenge they'll be there with me too. Subject to everyone remaining injury-free and training plans going well then I will be joined for the 5 days by Gareth Morgan, a school friend of mine and Oscar's 'odd father', by Mike Davies, a close family friend here in Cardiff, and Edward Bryce, a university friend and 'odd father' to Will, Oscar's brother. We also have some other good friends hoping to join for at least a leg - confirmation of these wonderful people to follow. I am also being supported by our wonderful family yet again in providing support along the route. Dave Saunders and Claire Hamilton, (Oscar's 'oddmother'), from Agile Therapy (www.agiletherapy.com) have generously offered to accompany our trip to provide what I am certain will be much needed physio and massages. I am sure that there will be others that will help us and I will update this page and all our supporters as they're confirmed.
So if you're still reading this - thank you. I realise that many of you donate generously to charities already but I want to ask you to please try and support this ridiculous challenge (it is going to hurt - a lot), and to donate to a fantastic charity that support so many children and their families in the biggest fight of their lives. Latch have made a real difference to Oscar and to all of Team Rudolf and we really would like to show them how much we appreciate it by giving something back.
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