A grandmother of four is taking to the pavements next month as she races in London’s Royal Parks Half Marathon to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust.
Christina Watson, 58 from Chingford, will be running one of the most popular half marathons in the country to say thanks to the charity which supported her son, Sam, and daughter-in-law, Rachelle.
In 2014, Rachelle gave birth to baby Giselle. Unfortunately Giselle was poorly and had to kept in hospital for a few weeks.
Giselle remained at the specialist hospital undergoing numerous treatments for a month, and during this time, The Sick Children’s Trust supported Sam and Rachelle with free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation at Stevenson House so they could remain by their daughter’s bedside.
Now, Giselle is two years old and is the ‘happiest baby’. To say thank you for looking after her son and daughter-in-law, Christina decided to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust.
“Sam and Rachelle met two people at the hospital from The Sick Children’s Trust – Alan and Irma - who offered them free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation just minutes away from the hospital. The accommodation was called Stevenson House and they were told that this was to be their home while Giselle was in hospital.
“Sam and Rachelle didn’t want to leave their baby’s side so Stevenson House was a huge relief. It meant that Giselle had her parents with her all the time, to support her and care for her. It was also a relief for the rest of the family as we knew that they were all in the best place possible – and while they were caring for their baby daughter – they were also being looked after.”
Stevenson House is one of three London ‘Homes from Home’ run by The Sick Children’s Trust. The Sick Children’s Trust believes that by keeping families together significantly improves the recovery of a sick child. It costs the charity around £30 to support a family for one night in a ‘Home from Home’ of which there are ten across the country. Christina, who has run the Virgin Money London Marathon ten times, says:
“Myself and Rachelle’s Mum would go over to Stevenson House to see Sam and Rachelle, to take them food and to help them look after themselves and when I met Alan and Irma I made a promise to help the charity. To know that £30 can make the world of difference to a family at the scariest of times has made me more passionate to raise money for this fantastic charity.
“When I’m running, should I get injured or should things get tough, I know that whatever struggle I’m facing, it’s nothing in comparison to Giselle’s.”
Christina will be running alongside 40 others to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust. Sick Children’s Trust Community Fundraiser Zoe Morris says:
“We are so pleased to have Christina on our team and know she will do brilliantly on the day – she has already reached her fundraising goal which is wonderful as it shows just how many people are supporting her.
“The £410 Christina’s already raised will make a significant difference to families all across the UK who need ‘Home from Home’ accommodation so that they can be close to their seriously ill child.”
If you would like to support Christina, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Christina-Watson8