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Wimbotsham parents to run virtual Cambridge Town and Gown in memory of their late son Jamie

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Grieving parents will be raising funds through a running challenge in memory of their son who died two-years-ago on this day after a heart attack.

Dawn and Gary Pammenter, of Wimbotsham, will be running on the streets of Downham on Sunday in aid of Muscular Dystrophy UK after their 15-year-old son Jamie sadly passed away.

Jamie had the life-limiting condition Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which causes muscles to weaken and waste over time.

Jamie Pammenter died at the age of 15 after suffering a heart attack. Picture: Dawn Pammenter
Jamie Pammenter died at the age of 15 after suffering a heart attack. Picture: Dawn Pammenter

He suffered a severe heart attack after he began struggling to breathe when his dad was putting him to bed one evening, just days before his 15th birthday.

Paramedics rushed him to hospital before he was airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital where he spent the next month in a coma in intensive care.

But despite the best efforts of medics, Jamie had suffered severe brain damage and passed away in his sleep on October 13 with his parents by his side.

Jamie, who sadly died in October 2018, is pictured with his family Luke, 13, Dawn and Gary. Picture: SUBMITTED
Jamie, who sadly died in October 2018, is pictured with his family Luke, 13, Dawn and Gary. Picture: SUBMITTED

Mrs Pammenter, who works at Cambridge University, said: "We’re still grieving. It’s still very raw. One minute he was here and then he was gone. Jamie was a very cheeky, lovable boy who loved a cuddle. He was really grateful for what everyone did for him."

Last year, a large number of runners ran and supported the Muscular Dystrophy Cambridge Town and Gown 10k as part of 'Team Jamie'.

But due to coronavirus restrictions, the Cambridge Town and Gown 2020 is going virtual this year. Adults can take on a 10k, while children can enjoy a 3k run, at any time of the day on October 18. As ever, it will raise money for organiser Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Dawn and Gary – also parents to Luke, 13, - are gearing up for their 10K challenge on Sunday and they will be thinking of Jamie as they pound the streets of Downham.

Mrs Pammenter said: “When I’m running I imagine Jamie’s with me saying ‘Come on Mum, you can do it!’ and that helps get me through.”

The couple’s running group will start their Cambridge 10K early in the morning and leave in staggered starts to ensure social distancing is maintained.

They anticipate the run being even more difficult given that there will be very few crowds cheering them on compared to the usual Cambridge event.

Mrs Pammenter added: “I’m doing this to raise awareness and funds to help cure this horrible disease because most people don’t know anything about it. I think it’s brilliant that people are still going out there and completing the race and fundraising.

“Muscular Dystrophy UK have always been really supportive, friendly and helpful whenever we’ve needed them. The fact that anyone can run this race from anywhere means as many people as possible should get involved. Every little penny of fundraising helps.”

Her husband, who is completing the race despite waiting for a fourth operation on his knee, said: “Everybody who met Jamie adored him and said they enriched their lives. So we decided to run the Cambridge Town and Gown 10K to raise more money in his memory. I’m not out to break records, I just want to raise as much as possible. I think Jamie would be really chuffed.”

All entries will be able to submit their race time on the Race Nation app and a medal will then be sent to their home.

While fundraising is not compulsory, the charity encourages all runners to raise what they can, especially as it faces a £2.8million funding gap due to events and activities being hit by the pandemic.

The Pammenter's Just Giving page for the challenge can be found by searching www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jamiepammentermemorial10k where a total of £330 has been raised by 20 supporters at the time of writing.

There’s still time to enter the virtual event at www.townandgown10k.com/cambridge/, and tickets cost just £10 each.

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