A local government officer will be taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust in memory of 15 year old Harry Lowings who tragically passed away last year.
Andrew Harvey, 43, from Bacton, is training five days a week to complete the race to raise £2,500 for The Sick Children’s Trust which supported his neighbours, Tracey and Gary Lowings, with free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation while their son, Harry, battled for his life in two specialist hospitals miles away from home.
In 2017 Harry became seriously unwell and was diagnosed with juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) – a condition which mainly affects the muscles and skin, but can also affect a number of systems within the body. Harry was given medication to improve his health, however, despite initially responding well his condition deteriorated and he was rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. Two weeks later, Harry was then rushed to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) for further specialist treatment. At GOSH, Harry spent six weeks fighting for his life before tragically passing away in June last year, aged just 15 years old.
Since his death, the community has rallied around the family to say thank you to The Sick Children’s Trust, raising over £8,000 from a memorial day. The Sick Children’s Trust, which supports families with seriously ill children in hospital with free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation, gave Harry’s parents a place to stay for two months whilst he was being treated at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and GOSH. This meant they were never more than a few minutes from Harry’s hospital bedside. Andrew, who has lived next door to the family for 18 years and whose son, Jack, grew up with Harry says:
“The Sick Children’s Trust’s Acorn House and Rainbow House supported Gary and Tracy with a comfortable place to stay during such a traumatic time. The charity’s ‘Homes from Home’ were so close by, which meant they never had to worry about being separated from their son and the houses allowed them to be with him as much as possible.
“It was devastating when Harry’s family returned home without him. Going around to see them that night with my wife, Amanda, and son, Jack, was one of the hardest moments of my life so far. As a family we are doing all we can in Harry’s memory to say thanks to The Sick Children’s Trust for keeping his parents and sister by his hospital bedside.
“Although I have run marathons before, this year will be my toughest challenge because I want to do Harry proud. His loss is still very raw and felt among our community, and this is a small gesture on my behalf, one that I really hope will help Harry’s family, as well as my family, through the emotional months ahead.”
Harry’s Mum, Tracy who organised last year’s Memorial Day for Harry and is planning future fundraising events in her son’s memory, says:
“The last five weeks of Harry’s life were incredibly hard and we really struggled to stay afloat. But we were there every day and every night in London, living just minutes from where Harry was being treated in GOSH. We didn’t have to worry about Harry 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 them enough.”
Andrew will join 13 other runners as part of #TeamSCT to raise vital funds for The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Homes from Home’ across the country. Rainbow and Guilford Street House Manager, Tina Thake, says:
“Harry’s family have suffered a huge loss and our thoughts will always be with them. We are so grateful for the money that they have raised 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 help Andrew reach his £2,500 target, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-harvey10