Children's Charity for the Freeman Hospital

Final Thoughts

As I write this blog, it is less than 24 hours until I set off from Eyemouth in Scotland and the start of my 100mile–24hour run for CHUF (Children’s Heart Unit Fund at the Freeman Hospital). I think I’m in a mixed state; one of shock that it has come round so quickly and also excitement to get started and more importantly get finished!

The training for this run has taken over 6 months; it has forced me to train harder than ever before, getting out of bed earlier than 6am for months and facing up to a few inner demons along the way. Through all of this I have never lost sight of the reason for this run and the motivation to never give in…that is our beautiful son Sebastian.

The pain Seb has suffered over the last 3 years and especially when he was a tiny baby, is more than I will ever endure during this run. Yet possesses such a sunny disposition, an unending determination and the most magical character you could hope to meet. He is my greatest inspiration and forces me to try every single day to be a better man.

I’ve said this before (but it is worth repeating), I always thought the job of a Dad was to protect your children from harm; yet the day Seb was diagnosed with a CHD (Congenital Heart Defect) I lost all control over his health and well being. Watching him being taken away from me to theatres to undergo over 6 hours of open heart surgery is a feeling that will never leave me, then to see him in intensive care and almost lose his fight are still the most painful scars I carry. It has been these thoughts and emotions that have carried me through the hours of training; they will be the same that will get me through the darkest points of the run itself.

This run represents the only thing I can do to say thank you to the Unit that saved Seb’s life. If the money we raise helps to buy a critically important piece of equipment or provides the non-clinical support that is so important to sick babies, children and their families then it will have been worthwhile. The thing is, I can’t do it alone; I need the help of as many people as possible to help spread the word so the donations fly in. Whether you do this by word of mouth, Facebook or Twitter (@Seb4chuf) the success of the run rests on the money and awareness we raise, so please help me? This is going to hurt like hell so I need you to please stay with me for the journey?

I start at 11am on Friday 6th April and will make my way down the Northumberland Coastal Path with the plan of finishing on the golden sands of Tynemouth Long Sands beach at 10.30-11am on Saturday 7th April.

To donate please visit or text ‘CHUF99’ and ‘£5’ or ‘£10’ to 70070.


Comments on: "Final Thoughts" (6)

  1. Rachael Arnold said:

    Good luck Ivan, you are truly inspirational. We will be following you as best we can while sat by our little boys bed on ward 23.

    • Hi Rachel, Thank you so much for your kind message of support. The inspiring one’s are all of our little ‘heart’ hero’s. It was the thought of them that drove me through the hardest parts of the 100 mile run. I hope your little one is ok?

      • So many congratulations, have just read your latest blog about the run – wow. Hope you are recovering well. Our boy is doing ok after a rocky 8 weeks – he is just doing it ‘his way’ – but none of it could be achieved without the help and support from all at CHUF. We hope to do our own fundraising later in the year too.

      • Hi Rachael, Thank you so much for taking the time to send me this message. It means so much to known that the efforts I have put into this run (and other events) will hopefully help little boys like your son and our Sebastian. The Freeman is an amazing Unit and I hope everyone gets behind CHUF to help them carry on the amazing work they carry out every day.
        I hope your son is doing ok now and life gets a little easier for you all.
        Thanks, Ivan

  2. You are a total legend m8 wish I could run 10 mile 4 charity let alone 100 you are a tremendous father also a proper leader well done

    • Thank you so much Rob. I think Seb and all the other ‘heart’ hero’s are the legends and I’m just an idiot who runs too much! Really appreciate the support.

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