But determined dad Dan Faulkner has completed a gruelling Ironman challenge in memory of son Jack, from Totley,
Last weekend, Dan from Chesterfield completed an Ironman challenge in Mallorca to continue his preparation, in sweltering late-twenties heat.
He said: “The Ironman has been three years in the making, after COVID-19 meant it was postponed in 2020 and 2021, so it meant that I had three lots of winter training – swimming, biking and running and every week.”
Dan was inspired to take on the challenge by his 15-year-old son Jack Faulkner. Jack was cared for by Sheffield Children’s Hospital after being diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour that would sadly end his life in 2018.
Dan completed the swim in 34 minutes, the cycling in just over three hours and the run in just under two hours.
He adds: “It was an amazing event. This was Jack’s idea, he said I should do an Ironman to raise money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital and this was it. That’s what I was thinking about when crossing the line. Towards the end, the emotions started to appear.”
London to Paris cycle
Dan has now raised more than £2,500 towards his London to Paris Cycle, adding to the almost £150,000 raised in Jack’s honour as part of the #TeamJack effort.
The fundraising movement was instigated by the teenager himself, as he set up a JustGiving page whilst beginning chemotherapy on the dedicated neurosciences ward, Ward 5, at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
The money raised quickly exceeded all expectations. Supporters took on a host of events, from races, sponsored walks and triathlons to bake sales and charity stalls.
Local pubs held collections, long-lost friends reconnected to pledge support and hospital staff wore special ‘TeamJack’ badges emblazoned on their uniforms.
The money raised has been split broadly evenly between two causes close to Jack’s heart, The Children’s Hospital Charity and Young Lives vs. Cancer.
At Jack’s request, the money raised for Sheffield Children’s Hospital has been dedicated to Ward 5 which provided his treatment. As it stands, around £85,000 has been dedicated to the ward fund.
The fundraising is already having a positive impact at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Jack spent 79 nights continuously on the neurosciences ward and three of his suggestions for improvement; video games consoles, new curtains and two specially adapted wheelchairs have already been funded.
The London to Paris bike ride, from June 8 until June 12, will further boost the total for The Children’s Hospital Charity.
Dan said the London to Paris challenge struck him as a great destination event to be a part of.
He said: “I love cycling and it will be great to spend time with like-minded people fundraising for amazing organisations.”
“I’m hoping my Ironman training will carry me to Paris, but the saddle can be uncomfortable after a few days non-stop! I’m pleased to have raised so much and the total raised in Jack’s honour is something we are all very proud of,” he added.
“The cycling may get tough, but this is nothing compared to what Jack endured throughout his illness, and he never complained once.”
Rachael Thomas, Events Fundraising Officer at The Children’s Hospital Charity added: “It’s wonderful that after three years of waiting due to COVID-19, Dan has finally fulfilled his promise to Jack to run an Ironman for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
“We are so thankful for the support of everyone in #TeamJack as they continue their incredible effort to change lives at our hospital in Jack’s memory. On behalf of everyone in the Charity Team, we would also like to wish Dan and all our other riders taking on the London to Paris cycle the very best of luck!”
Support Dan’s fundraising in honour of Jack here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/teamjack-london-to-paris