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Runners raise over £45,000 for Together for Short Lives at London Marathon

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osain smiling at the camera

On Sunday, London welcomed back its most iconic sporting event, the London Marathon 2024. 15 courageous runners, representing Team Together for Short Lives, joined over 40,000 fellow participants at the starting line to conquer the challenging 26.2 mile course.

Against the backdrop of London’s breathtaking landmarks, runners soaked in the city’s beauty while being cheered on by enthusiastic crowds lining the route. The atmosphere was electric as our dedicated team powered through each mile, driven by the goal of raising vital funds and awareness for Together for Short Lives.

Our team comprised of committed supporters from the public and partners like Morrisons, Center Parcs and Hobbycraft. So far, their efforts have raised over £45,000 and counting! This outstanding sum will make such an impact when supporting our mission, children’s hospices, and seriously ill children and their families.

Making every mile matter

Scott, from our corporate partner, Center Parcs chose to run for Together for Short Lives after seeing our work first-hand through our partnership. Scott shared:

“Having ran half marathons in the past I thought how hard could it be… it’s hard! Working full time whilst training for a marathon has consumed my life. Between January and February, I’ve ran a total distance to take me from Nottingham to Paris which is both incredible and crazy to think about. I’ve loved every minute supporting this charity and I will continue to keep the charity in my actions going forwards in the future.”

Some runners found their motivation closer to heart, like Hollie, from Children’s Hospice South West, whose nephew Oliver inspired her to take on this challenge:

“My nephew Oliver was born with an extremely rare chromosome deletion, and he has many complex needs and disabilities.”

“Oliver received support and care from Little Harbour for many years before he transitioned into adult care, so I know first-hand the amazing work that Together for Short Lives does, supporting children’s hospices and providing care and support to children and families throughout the UK. Seeing the struggles that Oliver, and my sister and her family went through on a daily basis, and the numerous times that Oliver had been so poorly we all thought he wouldn’t make it, is my inspiration behind running.”

In her preparation she shared, “Knowing that Oliver has an inner strength and determination to battle through things that most adults won’t ever have to experience, will get me through those 26.2 miles, and I’m so proud to be running for such a fantastic charity, helping to raise funds so that seriously ill children can receive the care they need.”

Remembering Osian: A mother’s tribute to her brave son’s short but joyful life

Among the personal stories from our brilliant running team, thoughts were also with the families that Together for Short Lives supports, like mum George and her son Osian.

Baby Osian arrived into the world in November 2021 weighing just 507 grams. George shares “I had an infection and so went into early labour at 23 weeks.” We were told immediately that the chances of him surviving were very slim indeed. He had chronic lung disease and a narrowing of his airway. Every day was going to be a fight for him.”

Unfortunately, as Osian spent much of his life in hospital during the Covid pandemic, he was never able to meet extended family and friends.

While at home, Osian’s care was 24/7, round the clock: “Osian was ventilated day and night and so we would often have to change his trachy, he was also tube fed via a pump. We were always making sure all of his equipment was functioning correctly. But he was not on any meds, and all of the rest of his care was normal baby care. Nappies and the rest!”

The family were well supported at home and would visit their local hospice, where Osian spent his first birthday and one Christmas with his family.

In March 2023 everything changed. “There is a great misconception that parents with seriously ill children are prepared for their child’s death because you know that one day soon it will come. But that is just not true at all. You are never ready. Never prepared. You hope every single day that you will be the lucky ones. We weren’t one of the lucky ones.”
On 25 March 2023 Osian died at home from a cardiac arrest: “We only had seconds with him, before he was gone.”

“Life now is completely different. No parent should ever have to lose their child. We miss his presence, his smile. We miss everything. It’s tremendously sad and just so unfair. And so, we spend every day talking about him and celebrating him – all that he brought into this world – and all that he left behind. He was magical.”

After his death, Osian’s family were referred to receive a Butterfly Fund grant from Together for Short Lives – a one-off £300 financial gift that the family can choose to spend however they want: “We have saved the money and will be spending it on our first holiday to Salou later this year. We have never all been on holiday together. We will spend time as a family and remember Osian.”

Together for Short Lives depends heavily on public generosity, since it receives minimal government support. Events like the London Marathon play a crucial role in funding our efforts to be there for families caring for a seriously ill child. If you’re interested in securing a charity place for the London Marathon 2025, please reach out to us at Your support can significantly impact the lives of seriously ill children and their families.

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