Mum to take on 50 runs before milestone birthday including this one for Sheffield Children’s Hospital

A grateful mum has been inspired to take part in a hospital charity run because of the life-saving care her son received.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 1:53 pm

Abbie Martin from Sheffield, whose son Dominic McGrail was just seven-years-old when he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in October 2012, is taking part in Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s Theo’s Glow Run.

She is taking on the run as part of her mission to take on 50 runs before her milestone 50th birthday to thank the hospital for their care.

Abbie said: “To find out my child had leukeamia was devastating, it’s your worst nightmare as a parent. I thought it was the end of the world, but every member of staff we encountered at Sheffield Children’s Hospital was amazing.

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Dominic McGrail meeting Santa at Sheffield Children's Hospital
Dominic McGrail meeting Santa at Sheffield Children's Hospital

“It sounds strange, but Dominic loved being in hospital. He had trial treatment, which meant he needed a drip for three days every fortnight.

“On the second time, he begged me to take him earlier because he loved being on the ward so much. That’s thanks to the amazing staff and the Play Team on the Oncology and Haematology ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.”

Dominic was discharged earlier this year and attends routine clinics to monitor any late-effects of his treatment. To say thank you for his care, Abbie has committed to complete 50 runs before she turns 50 in 2023, including Theo’s Glow Run later this month.

She said: “Today, Dominic is a strapping, healthy teenager and I will be eternally grateful to everyone involved in his care.

“The hospital keeps a close eye on him, and I vowed to give something back to say thank you for the wonderful care that we still receive.

“I’m really looking to Theo’s Glow Run. Both my Dominic and my other son Daniel will be joining me. It sounds like it will be lots of fun. ”

Entering its third year, Theo’s Glow Run is a 5K night-time fun run around Endcliffe Park.

Supporters dress up in everything from Santa hats and elf ears to neon tutus and fairly lights to show off their support for The Children’s Hospital Charity.

So far, Abbie has raised over £400 of her £5,000 fundraising target for The Children’s Hospital Charity’s appeal to transform the ward.

The ward provides treatment for cancer and blood disorders in children from babies through to 19-year-olds.

The redevelopment will see the ward transformed into a brighter and refreshed space for both patients and their families staying there.

Abbie said: “I regularly slept on a fold-out bed next to Dominic on the ward. It was nice to be able to be by his side, but I never got a good night’s sleep because the other children staying on the ward would often be unsettled during their treatment.”

Under the plans, more private patient bedrooms with en-suite facilities would be created, giving the opportunity for more patients a place to make their own and increased the space for a parent to sleep alongside them.

Rachael Thomas, Events Fundraising Officer at The Children’s Hospital Charity said: “It’s really moving to about Dominic’s treatment and I’m really pleased to hear he is back home thanks to the care he received at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.”

Visit www.tchc.org.uk/events to sign up for Theo’s Glow Run on Tuesday, December 17 or www.justgiving.com/fundraising/50-runs-before-50 to support Abbie’s fundraising.

The deadline for signing up to take part is Monday, December 16 at 12pm.