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Supporting the Chelsea and Westminster NICU

On 6th of April 2018, my youngest daughter was born. 2 days later she stopped breathing and needed to be looked after in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. The staff in NICU were absolutely incredible and the care our daughter received was exemplary. She is now a beautiful healthy and very vocal 1 year old, keeping us all very busy. 

When I heard that they were looking to raise £12.5 million to redevelop and expand the intensive care units at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital I was immediately committed to raising money for them. The Critical Care Campaign will transform the outdated NICU facility, increasing the space by 40% and installing additional cots so that we can provide life-saving care to 150 more babies every year, as well as providing better clinical space and family facilities.

I am looking to specifically raise funds to buy and install a Giraffe OmniBed Carestation for the Neonatal Unit, which costs £25,000, and will provide state of the art care for babies born too soon, too ill or too small. By raising for a specific lifesaving machine I believe it makes your generous donations more tangible in the knowledge of exactly where it will be spent and the difference you are making. 

Entering the 35th MdS scheduled for April 2020, an event which is 129.8 miles longer than a standard marathon across the Sahara in temperatures that reach 47 degrees, is no small undertaking. 

I cannot think of anything more challenging to undertake in order to secure maximum interest and support for my charities.

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Commitment, Competitive Spirits and a Common Goal

With the start line behind me what am I up against? 

  • Southern Sahara, Morocco

  • 6 days

  • 252 km

  • 47 - 50 degrees day time temperatures

  • Day 4 Double Marathon

  • Competitors carry all their own equipment

The daily breakdown of the 2019 course is as follows with the longest single stage miles (81.5km). Typical total distances are 156 miles (251 km). 

DAY 1   30.3KM

DAY 2   39KM

DAY 3   31.6KM

DAY 4   86.2KM

DAY 5   42.2KM

DAY 6   7.7KM

The actual routes and format change every year. The Race Director and his team spend a month meticulously planning routes that are held secret until the day before the event starts. There is a rest day after the longest stage, but it may well take you into that day before you get to finish the double marathon day.

Competitors carry stay overnight in a bivouac village, where I will be with the Walking with the Wounded Team in tents that sleep about 8 competitors per tent. Once you get your ‘bivvy’ your bivvy team become your family, your support team, your nursing team and invariably they become long-term friends.

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