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I’m running 1,000 miles to raise money for the BLF

When Steve’s daughter got bronchiolitis 3 times before she was 6 months old, he knew he had to do something.

Chloe had a cough from the moment she was born. At 2 weeks old we found out she had bronchiolitis.

My wife, Becky, and I knew a little bit about bronchiolitis as our older son had a mild case when he was younger. But we didn’t know just how serious it can get.

Chloe had blue lips and was panting

The GP had told us warning signs to look out for, and that if we spotted any to bring Chloe back in. The next day, she had blue lips and was panting. Becky took her straight to the GP, who said she needed to go to A&E. An ambulance arrived in 10 minutes, and the GP rang ahead to let them know Chloe was coming.

This all happened on my first day back at work from paternity leave! Work were great, and I went back home straightaway. Sitting on the train not knowing what was going on and unable to get there any quicker was horrible.

Chloe was kept in for 6 nights and had oxygen to help with her breathing. She looked so fragile and tiny in the bed, and picking her up with so many wires attached was upsetting for both her and us.

To make things worse, this was the first time Becky had spent an extended time away from our son, who was only 2 at the time. Luckily, Becky’s mum was able to look after him, so we knew he was in good hands. The hospital was great and really looked after us. They made George feel really welcome which helped with being away from him for the week.

When Chloe was finally discharged, she had a cough for about a month. We had to go through 2 more bouts of bronchiolitis, but luckily neither were as serious as the first. She did have to go back into hospital the third time, but she was discharged the same day.

Now we’re dealing with all the normal baby things, like teething!

My advice to parents is to trust your instincts. Bronchiolitis starts out like a cold, and while you may not want to bother your GP about a cold, do. Our GPs were amazing and without them things could have turned out a lot differently.

I knew I wanted to do something

After the experience with Chloe, I knew I wanted raise awareness so that more parents would know the signs and symptoms to look out for. Becky’s dad has emphysema and my dad has an interstitial lung disease, so the BLF seemed an obvious choice for my fundraising efforts. I’m also raising money for the Stoke Mandeville hospital, as they were so brilliant during that time.

Despite not having been on a run for 14 years, I decided to try to run 1,000 miles in a year.

I used January to build up my fitness levels, and now I try to run 20 miles a week. I give myself monthly challenges to make it more interesting, such as trying to run faster than the previous month, or by going different routes. I also started up a running club at work, and it’s been great getting support through there.

I’m aiming to raise £10,000. As it stands, I’m currently at £1,000 but I expect most of the donations to come in towards the end. We’ve got fundraising events planned throughout the year, and I’m doing 2 half marathons as well.

When I told people what I planned, they were sceptical I would do it! But I’m now ¼ of the way through and I’m confident I’ll see it through to the end.

Steve on a run

Get involved!

Want to challenge yourself, like Steve? Why not raise money for people living with conditions at the same time? We have loads of great ideas for you to get involved in.

To find out more about Steve's story, take a look at his Virgin Money Giving page.

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18 April 2019