When injury scuppered Paul Gregory’s plans to run a marathon to raise funds for the hospital that saved his son’s life he decided to pass the mantel onto his wife.
But instead of running 26.2 miles, Jill, a former Falkirk Council employee of 18 years, opted to walk 24 miles in this year’s Kiltwalk, raising an amazing £1,015 for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Children’s Charity in the process.
Paul, our mail room assistant and council driver, said: “My training was going well but with 10 weeks to go my hamstring gave out and every time I tried to run, it was a no go. I had to pull out but thankfully was given a spot in next year’s Edinburgh Marathon.”
As a qualified fitness instructor and personal trainer, Paul gave his wife some fitness tips and watched their three young boys – Jay (4), Tristan (3) and Jack (1) – while she clocked up the miles training. On September 15th she and four of her friends completed the Edinburgh Kiltwalk in 7hrs 40mins.
“It was meant to be 24 miles but everyone's GPS said 25 at the end - an extra mile just for fun! Jill loved the scenery and having her friends beside her and was back being a full-time mum the next day!"
The couple have pledged to raise money for GOSH every year as a way to say thank you for saving Jack’s life after he was born with a rare condition, Dural Sinus Arteriovenous Malformation, which caused heart, liver and kidney failure.
At just seven-days-old he was airlifted by air ambulance to London for lifesaving surgery. Since then he has been down to GOSH five times, had four procedures and will have one more when he is three.
“Without GOSH and Glasgow Children's Hospital our boy wouldn't be here. It’s that simple. What we didn't know at the time was most of the money GOSH needs to run comes from charitable donations and that’s why we will continue to fundraise for them.
“I would ideally like to thank everyone who has donated or is going to donate. We look back at what Jack and our family has been through and can truthfully say we made it with the help and support of everyone around us.”
Pictured: Paul and Jill with their three boys at the end of the Kiltwalk (above). Jack undergoing treatment for his condition at GOSH when he was just a few weeks old (below).