On your mark, get set, go!

On your mark, get set, go!

When Samantha from Cambridgeshire signed up to the 2016 London marathon to fundraise for Ronald McDonald House Charities, it wasn’t just on a whim.

Samantha felt so strongly that she wanted to give back to the Charity that had supported her family when they were going through the unimaginable trauma of having a child in hospital. 

Six years ago, Samantha’s daughter Evie was born with a fused skull. Specialists at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford told her that this meant that her daughter would need an operation to stop the skull from growing abnormally and leaving her with severe learning difficulties.
The operation would be at a great risk and the family would need to wait nine months in order for Evie’s head to form to a degree in which the operation would be able to be performed. 


After three cancellations and at 12 hours’ notice, Evie finally had her operation which the surgeons described as, “cutting the top of her head off like a hat.”

As soon as the family put their bags down in Ronald McDonald House Oxford, they felt a huge sense of relief. The operation took four and a half hours and being in their bedroom at the House meant that they were able to receive hourly calls with updates on Evie’s progress throughout.

Samantha says, “When I visited the High Dependency Unit that night to see Evie the nurses told me I needed to get some sleep. I didn’t want to leave her side but I was exhausted. That night I actually slept, knowing that I was about 90 seconds from her if she needed me.”

Two days later, Evie was discharged. The family were able to go home but Samantha will always remember all the families that she met during her stay who weren’t as lucky as she was.

That’s one of the reasons why Samantha is running the London marathon next year. She’s been hard at it training, starting off with the ‘Couch to 5K’ challenge earlier this year and more recently a rather hilly half marathon in Basingstoke!

Evie is so proud of her mummy and is her official timer at races, never without a stopwatch! With Samantha’s dad on his fourth marathon, running has become quite the family affair and means that they are able to spend quality time together.

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