An engineer from Dersingham who took up running just four-months ago is taking on the London Marathon in memory of his young son.
Stephen Eldridge and fiancée Odette Wood’s son Callum was born three weeks prematurely at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in October, 2012.
The baby was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice (EACH) took over care of Callum.
EACH cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Norfolk, as well as Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk, and supports their families.
However, Callum died of leukaemia at 12-days-old after being transferred to EACH’s hospice in Quidenham.
Stephen said: “Our last night together at Quidenham was so precious and EACH cared for our every need, allowing us to say our goodbyes in the peacefulness of the hospice.
“We’re so thankful to all the wonderful, compassionate staff we encountered on our journey. They’re all truly amazing people.”
The family, now including three-year-old Harriet, has set up an online legacy page in Callum’s name and have since raised more than £35,000 for EACH.
And now Stephen is hoping to raise a further £2,000 by taking on the London Marathon later this month after taking up running just four-months ago.
He says he has been running four times a week in preparation, with his only previous experience of endurance events being “a few wild stag dos”.
Stephen added: “When I took on this challenge I had no idea how hard it was going to be.
“I massively underestimated how far 26-miles is and the time and dedication needed for the long, cold, dark training.
“Not being a runner, I had no idea how complex it would be getting my body from zero miles to achieving and completing the London Marathon.”
Stephen is one of four runners with a place in the marathon for EACH and will be joined by others who are committed to raising money for the worthy cause.
To support Stephen’s efforts visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/CallumEldridge.