It was last summer whilst out running with a family member, that I knew I wanted to make a positive change somehow. It felt right to give back by doing something I had always done even as a child, run. Since I made the decision that day, many things have changed. Do I run a distance, do I come up with a new challenge, or would I take on an existing event? Eventually, I decided to run a number of full marathons, 42.195km. How many had yet to be decided. What I did know was, that it would be for a local cause, and that it would benefit children in some way.
I’m a 33-year-old Anglo-Maltese personal trainer who previously served 12 years with Her Majesty’s British Forces. I have always kept fit and healthy to some degree and pride myself in helping others realize their potential health and fitness goals. I have been living in Malta for four years now. I am engaged to the love of my life Natassja, and a stepfather to my precious princess Megan.
The search was on for a charity I felt would benefit from my event. It didn’t take long before I found DrKlown. I new very little about the NGO until I met Maurice and Christine, the president and vice president of DrKlown here in Malta. The more I learnt about the fantastic work they and the clowns did in the pediatric wards of Mater Dei Hospital, the clearer it became that this was an organization I wanted to do something for, as through them I could make a difference.
We immediately understood that our goal was similar, we both wanted to help children and bring happiness even in the most difficult of times. After visiting the pediatric wards, which was my first time, I was astonished at the staff’s level of professionalism, dedication, and courage that went into the daily running of the wards. After talking with the staff, we asked if they needed anything we could help with, or whether there was something that could be improved in the wards to make their lives easier. I found that the response we got was particularly selfless and kind, that is, to ask not for themselves but for the parents of the hospitalized children. They wanted to help the parents by giving them better sleeping conditions when they had to sleep at the hospital.
Having one of your children hospitalized for a length of time is hard enough for any parent, but adding restless nights does make the situation even more difficult than it already is! It was clear that parents spending the night, a week, or a few months with their hospitalized child would benefit from wall-mounted pull-down beds.
This has to be a place where they could get proper rest, giving them time to recharge and have the strength to face whatever the next day might bring. This in turn would give the children what they need from their parent; hope and courage to deal with whatever situation they were in.
We calculated that between the three pediatric wards we would need a total of 20 beds. In that way, all single rooms would get their own bed.
From that point on my task became clear. I would be running 20 Marathons for 20 beds.
Everyone said it was crazy to run 20 consecutive marathons. I think it’s crazy not to help someone when you truly believe you can.
Moreover, I have a strong belief that we are all capable of giving back to the community in some way. This could be a small gesture of kindness to a neighbour or friend, a decision to impact the people around us in a positive way, or making a choice to be the best version of ourselves we can be.
When this challenge succeeds, I hope it will encourage people to realize that no matter where we come from, what chain of events led to this point in our lives, or even how we think we are perceived by others, not only can we change our lives for the better but we also have the ability to change the lives of others!
In an age of uncertainty, and perhaps sometimes negativity at every turn, I’m just a guy that wants to make a positive change in my own way. With your help, I know this change is possible. With your help, we know we can achieve this goal and make a difference. You can do your part by donating, and helping us spread the message.
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