From Great Oak Trees Come Little Acorns…


12 months ago I looked at lot like the left picture, 15 stone and truly unfit. Apart from some vague ambition to “get fit” I didn’t really have any aspirations. Now I am a few weeks out from my first half marathon at the age of 44 (and a bit).

I remember most of my landmarks – the first time I completed 5k (in about 40 minutes), the first time I broke 30 minutes for 5k, the first time I ran for an hour continuously, the first time I did 2 hours (which was also the same time I did 10 miles) – absolutely no doubt I got the bug for running. I got the expensive running shoes (good decision), the phone app and even a pair of running tights which I have not yet had the courage to wear outside so take my word for it….sexy. 

When the opportunity came to run for Acorns I knew I had to do it. Signing up was actually quite easy, a few mouse clicks, type a few words and submit. I guess the 13 something miles might take a bit more effort. I have friends who have run half marathons and marathons and I have admired them from afar, marvelled at their dedication while questioning their sanity. Now it’s my turn.

Many years ago I spent some time at Acorns Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, not long after it had first opened, as part of my training to be a mental health nurse. I was early 20s at the time, I found the experience difficult. The words hospice and children together were not something that sat comfortably together for me. When it was suggested that Jude went there I revisited that same discomfort again – but my preconceptions and fears were soon dispelled.

When he was first referred to Acorns, Jude was not a well little boy. Our whole world seem to revolve around him (it still does, but in a nice way now). We never left him while he was in hospital – we would leave him with friends and family but were never far away. Now they were asking us to leave him with them…and we were OK with that because first impressions were so very, very positive. And nothing has changed since.

Over the years we have moved from having one day respite to Jude being in for long weekends and occasionally longer when we’ve needed it. Jude is looked after and we get time to do things that we struggle to do normally – from doing absolutely nothing to weekends away (both of which are very difficult with Jude).

So on 19th October as I take to the streets of Birmingham for my first ever half marathon I do so to raise money for Acorns. Every penny helps so please support my “Give £2 and share campaign” (it was Give a £1 but the justgiving minimum donation is £2). Tell your friends, share, retweet….I want to hit 500 individual donations but I am less than 1/10th of the way there.

Thanks, Ian