A group of friends who have already raised over £12,000 are taking on the adidas Fulham 10km city run to raise even more money for The Sick Children’s Trust in memory of three year old Sophie Pokorny who tragically passed away at the end of the summer.
‘Run for Sophie’ are a group with more than 30 members, 16 of whom are training hard to complete the 10km race and boost their fundraising total. Members of the group include Sophie’s Uncle, Hugo Clarke, 35, along with his childhood friends, Marc Emmanuel and Gurmeet Sahni, also 35. They are raising money to thank The Sick Children’s Trust for providing Hugo’s sister, Abbie, from Ealing, and her husband, Karl, with free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation whilst their daughter waited for a heart transplant at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
Earlier this year, Sophie collapsed suddenly without warning. Unbeknown to anybody she had developed coronary heart disease, a condition almost unheard of in children. She was rushed to her local hospital in Ealing, but quickly transferred across to Royal Brompton Hospital and then on to GOSH where she fell into a coma and was put onto a life-support machine. Urgently, her name went onto the heart transplant list, but sadly Sophie didn’t live long enough to receive a new heart and she passed away 12 days later.
Since her death, the local community have rallied around the family to say thank you to The Sick Children’s Trust and other charities that supported the Pokorny family whilst Sophie was in hospital. The Sick Children’s Trust, which supports families with seriously ill children in hospital with free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation, gave Sophie’s parents a place to stay for 12 days whilst she waited for a new heart in GOSH. This meant they were never more than a few minutes from Sophie’s hospital bedside. Hugo, who along with wife, Kirsty, has raised over £3,500 from donations made at their wedding, says:
“The Sick Children’s Trust’s Rainbow House supported my sister and Karl with a comfortable place to stay during such a traumatic time. The ‘Home from Home’ was so close by, which meant they never had to worry about being separated from Sophie and could make the most of the precious time they had with their daughter.
“Sophie was a beautiful little girl who is missed terribly. Her death has been devastating for so many people hence why ‘Run for Sophie’ has so many members. As a group we are doing all we can in Sophie’s memory to say thanks to The Sick Children’s Trust for helping Abbie and Karl.”
Sophie’s Mum, Abbie, who will be cheering the runners on with Sophie’s older brother, William, says:
“Since we lost Sophie we have received so much support from our local community. It has been overwhelming, but an incredible tribute to our beautiful daughter, who was taken from us too soon. However, out of such a tragic situation, some good did come. Sophie was able to donate her kidneys after she died and we now know that she saved the lives of two grown men.
“The last two weeks of Sophie’s life were incredibly hard and we really believed she might be one of the lucky ones and receive a new heart in time. We were there every day and every night, living just minutes from where Sophie was being treated. We didn’t have to worry about Sophie ever being alone, or not being there when we needed to be because The Sick Children’s Trust was there for us. We can’t thank the charity enough.”
‘Run for Sophie’, who are already appealing for and collecting prizes to auction off at a future fundraiser, are committed to raising vital funds for The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Homes from Home’ across the country. Rainbow House Manager, Louise Murray-Hawkes, says:
“Sophie’s family have suffered a huge loss and our thoughts will always be with them. We are so grateful for the money that their friends and family have raised for us so far, which will go a long way in helping to support other families with a seriously ill child in hospital. Their generosity at such a difficult time means so much.”
To make a donation in Sophie’s memory, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/marc-emmanuel