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Christopher Rowley

2020 Virgin Money London Marathon

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]Thanks for your support with my London Marathon challenge![/p][p]My page donations will be sent direct to the charity in a fast and secure way. Its efficient, saves time and cuts costs for the charity. Helen & Douglas House supports terminally ill children and their families so that they don't have to face unimaginable heartbreak alone. To keep providing the care and love these families depend on, the charity need to find over £3 million a year. [/p][p]This is deeply personal to myself and my family as a thank you for the massive support Helen and Douglas house were when my brother and sister in law were in the worst possible position as parents.[/p][p]My sister in law and her husband Abi and Scott welcomed baby twins into the world in August 2017. During pregnancy we were all made aware that Poppy would be born with a life shortening disease called Lissencephaly which means that the folds in the brain do not develop as expected. This leads to severe developmental and physical disability and significantly reduced life expectancy.[/p][p]To begin with things were going well with Poppy in HDU but being able to stay with her twin brother. At 4 weeks she was diagnosed with hearing difficulties and was giving hearing aids. This was positive as she had some hearing. The next 3 months were relatively calm and she could go home with her mum and dad older sister and Twin brother.[/p][p]In the December Poppy’s condition took a real turn for the worse with her starting to get infantile spasms, having real trouble feeding and the increase in medication making her tired most of the time. This lead to her Mum and Dad having another impossible discussion with her paediatric to discuss quality of life and an advanced care plan.[/p][p]In March 2018 Poppy started to present another major symptom of respiratory difficulties. She was admitted into hospital for significant overnight stays 3 times over the month. It was at this point that everyone became aware that we would not have Poppy with us for much Longer. Although the care at the hospital was exceptional there was a real strain on family life with Abi being in the hospital and Scott being at home looking after Poppy’s brother and sister. It was at this point that a place at Helen and Douglas house became available.[/p][p]The care at Helen and Douglas house was unbelievable. In practical terms Poppy had a room right next to her mum less than a metre away and there was a small flat right there for the rest of the family so they could be there together as one. The staff were so kind always there to help but not intrusive, all meals were prepared for them so they could spend time being a family, there is a beautiful garden for the family to play together in with their extended family coming for visits and they even got to go swimming all together in the small pool on site. The care of the staff is something that really changed the lives of a family going through the biggest heartache possible.[/p][p]On the 20th April 2018 Poppy took a turn for the worse. She sadly passed away with her mum and dad being able to cuddle her thanks to the help and support of the doctors and nurses with her brother and sister not far away. It was very peaceful and calm and she must have felt so loved.[/p][p]In Abi’s own words “to be allowed that time was invaluable. Those 4 precious days, free from being Poppy’s carer, being able to focus on being Poppy’s mummy and making memories that we will treasure forever.”[/p][p]If you do have the means to support this unbelievable charity please donate here to help other families going through some of the hardest possible times.[/p]

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