A family challenge for a little girl with heart problems.
My two sons attend primary school with two brothers who have a younger sister born with heart problems. I had seen the little girl at school in a pushchair with tubes around her face and a blue colour to her skin, but I didn't like to be nosey and ask what health problem she had. However, eventually I had a chat with her mother and heard how she had been born with several problems with her heart. She had to have open heart surgery at six weeks old after being rushed into hospital (the heart defects were not identified until then) and had further open heart surgery a couple of years later. She will need further surgery in the near future and a eventually a heart transplant.
As I listened I realised how difficult it must have been for the family - to have to face the thought of your baby having continuing life-threatening heart problems and going through open heart surgery twice must be heartbreaking. I felt that I should do something - anything - to try and give the family a little boost after all the worry they have been through and the courage they have shown.
Being a runner (albeit a SLOW runner) I realised that a marathon was the ideal fund-raising opportunity, and, with the thought of sending the little girl and her family to Disney, the Disney Marathon seemed to be the perfect one. However, after a little investigation, I saw that there was a Goofy Challenge - a half-marathon followed by a full marathon the next day. I'm still not quite sure what possessed me to think that upping the challenge from the marathon to the Goofy was a good idea - but that's what happened! And what was the point in just me doing it when my whole family ran? So, it was decided - the parents do the Goofy and the kids (aged 7 and 9) do their own Mini-Goofy Challenge - the 5K Fun Run and Mickey Mile in one day! After booking it the kids were well up for it... then the parents realised it was actually quite a big challenge for them, with a lot of hard work... GULP!
Things didn't go well. Injury took Mum out for the whole of November, deep snow in December, 9 year old with very bad chesty cold in the day leading up to the mini-Goofy...
Was Mum a total wuss when she shed a few tears after seeing her youngest son charging after his older brother to the finish line of the 5K (having never done that distance before) and later that day doing an 8 minute Mickey Mile with his brother? And then he wanted to do it all again!
As for the adult Goofy Challenge, I got a calf problem halfway round the half-marathon and cramp on the full but the parents couldn't let the kids beat them so they had to finish!
I write this story to say thank you to all the people in the Goole area who were generous enough to sponsor us to give a little girl and family who have been through so much a well-deserved boost, and to perhaps ask parents with healthy children to consider how lucky they are.