The day is Sunday the 30th of October 2011.
I am in Portsmouth, England with my fiancée Sophia and her family. However, I am currently dressed up as an elephant wearing a pink tutu. Today is The Great South Run. I was running this 10 mile course in aid of charity. The charity is Friends of PICU, which supports the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. This unit cares for critically ill new born babies and children up to the age of 16.
I became involved with the charity since dating my fiancée Sophia whose younger sister was a patient after a near fatal accident. I wont go into too much detail as its very personal to her, but her sister was in a coma for two weeks. The only reason she survived and has recovered is because of PICU.
The work the unit provides is the best in the south of England and they take in patients all across the south including the Channel Islands. With Sophia’s sister, they had to teach her everything again from scratch, such as walking and talking. This takes patience and many hours of work. Most of the nurses on the ward work long 12 hour shifts. After which any normal person would go home and rest, not these people. After a long shift they would often be seen out the front of the hospital, running a stall, selling items to raise money for the unit. They are currently saving for a new ambulance which is basically a specialist unit on wheels, the ambulance has everything it needs to save a child’s life and is literally the difference between life and death.
The problem is, the ambulance costs £180,000. That’s where we come in.
The Great South Run was possibly the hardest thing I have ever done. Half way round the course I had badly pulled two muscles, both of which were in my groin and was struggling to walk. I was over heating due to the costume and haven’t even managed half way yet. Then I thought of the children. I have to put up with this for a few hours. These children struggle with much worse all day, everyday. And yet most of them still have a smile on their face. Any help I could give I did, and I will continue to do. This may not be the most well known charity in the world, but it is by far one of the most deserving. By donating just a little bit, we can help these children have a future. You have tomorrow. Without this unit, these children, won’t.
I hobbled over the line in 2 hours and 43 mins.
For more information on the charity please visit: http://www.friendsofpicu.org.uk/
You can also donate for my run via: http://www.justgiving.com/palombodavisclan
British Culture Columnist
Note from the Founder,
Mindthis is supporting a worthwhile cause and is determined to help our columnist Rob to raise money from around the world. He has raised hundreds of dollars but we believe that our readers can become do-ers by assisting Friends of PICU. Even just $5 will actually garner real and tangible results.
One Ambulance is the least we can do.