Simon Fitch, Head of International Development at St George’s, University of London has successfully run the 100km/62 miles Thames Path Challenge to raise £8,500 for ‘Be Child Cancer Aware’ (BCCA).

“The moment I decided I wanted to show my support for BCCA was when visiting a friend’s son in St George’s Pinckney ward one afternoon in June” said Simon. “We were talking about his experiences battling leukaemia. He and his family explained how the ‘Beads of Courage’ programme, sponsored by BCCA had helped them in their journey.”

The BCCA programme provides beads of all shapes and colours to over 4,000 children in UK hospitals, including St George’s. It’s designed to support children going through their treatment by allowing them to tell their story using colourful beads. The beads are used as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate different milestones such as blood transfusions, hospital stays, and the many treatments children will face.

“So I signed up for the run from Putney to Henley, which took place on 12th September, during child cancer awareness month.

“Training for such a long run in a short time period was pretty intense (and largely wet) but I was kept going by an unbelievable level of support from colleagues, families and friends.

“Over 150 people have donated so far, many also joined me on training runs and some undertook their own triathlons and 10k runs to raise more money over the summer.

Simon run1

“The day itself was harder than I ever expected, both physically and mentally, but I got to the end and was thrilled to have completed my first (and definitely my last) ultra-marathon in just under 10 and a half hours.

“This time meant I thankfully completed the run in daylight, and more importantly led to a new wave of donations. I really did feel that I was being supported every step of the way, echoing the fantastic level of support I saw being given to patients and families in their challenges when I was up in Pinckney at the beginning of this journey.”

My ‘Every Single Step’ site is still open for donations.