Why I’m Proud to call myself a Whole Hogger

Why I’m Proud to call myself a Whole Hogger

 Guest Blogger: Jacqueline Ashurst

I know first-hand the help and support a Ronald McDonald House provides.

At my 20 week scan, doctors had concerns over my baby’s development. After speaking with consultants, they suspected our son would be born with Gastroschisis, a birth defect where a baby’s intestines stick outside the baby’s body.

My son Thomas was born at Manchester Children’s Hospital March 2013. We’re from Saddleworth which is about 45 minutes from the hospital by car so it’s by no means close by.

After Thomas was born, he was immediately taken into the Intensive Care Unit. He underwent five operations from that moment onward. It was so important for my family to stick together during this traumatic time and we did, by being able to stay in Ronald McDonald House Manchester.

My husband Pete and I took it in turns to sleep by Thomas’ bedside whilst the other would sleep at the House with our daughter Leah who was three at the time.

I can’t put into words how it made us feel to be so close to Thomas. The House gave us time out from the ward and we met lots of other families who were in a similar situation to us. We didn’t feel quite so alone.

Once we’d left, I knew I had to give back in some way. I’ve never been a gym freak but after speaking with the fundraising team for Ronald McDonald House Charities, they told me about the Whole Hog challenge. It’s an annual 10k obstacle course through trenches, muddy streams and up small hills which you can do in teams or individually. It sounded perfect and a big group of my friends and I signed up straight away!

This year will be our third year of taking part and we can’t wait. It’s a great event; a real challenge which is great for all abilities. And the best thing about it all is that the money you raise will go directly to Ronald McDonald House Charities, keeping families with sick children in hospital - like mine - together.

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The Whole Hog is back for its fifth consecutive year. This year it's bigger, better and muddier than ever before. For the first year ever, we will be holding a Whole Hog Challenge in both the North and the South.

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