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Guildford mum takes on running challenge for children's hospice

5 minute read
Guildford mum takes on running challenge for children's hospice

Published at 6:00am 13th October 2019.

A Guildford woman is taking on the Royal Parks Half Marathon today as part of a year of fundraising for Shooting Star Children's Hospices. 

Nicky Ludlow's 17 year old son George has been supported by the charity since he fell ill ten years ago. 

Nicky told Eagle about the day that changed his life - and that of his family - back in March 2010, when she and his dad Phil found him in bed, awake but unable to move:

"He couldn't move, and he couldn't talk.

"He looked terrified.

"It was awful."

Up until then, George had been a healthy 7 year old, and there were no signs of what was to come:

"It came completely out the blue for us.

"We don't know what happened that night - there's still no reason for it.

"We still don't know if he suffered a stroke, they don't know if it's an inflammatory condition.

"The doctors have done every test, they did investigative surgery a year ago to see if there was anything they could do to cure him but unfortunately they couldn't find one."

George has complex epilepsy with unpredictable multiple seizures, as well as autism and anxiety.

Nicky says it impacts heavily on the family's life too, including George's younger sister.

"We live day to day, it has forced us to change the way we think and focus on memories.

"It's been ten years - that's great, none of us knew then how much longer we had him for. 

"So this is a celebration year."

Nicky said Shooting Star had been "absolutely amazing" in their support, not only for George, but for the family too.

"They've helped me and my daughter with therapy, they've looked after George 12 nights a year, he also gets a hospice home nurse who comes around once a month.

"They've also given us memories - we've met the prime minister, Ant and Dec, Simon Cowell, and visited Eagle Radio.

"But the main thing is the care they give him - there is no-one else I trust with him."

George Ludlow Nicky Ludlow

As George approaches adulthood Nicky says she is concerned about his future:

"We feel slightly protected now, but in the next few years we've got to figure out where he goes as an adult, and that's weighting quite heavily on my mind at the moment."

Nicky and her friend Julie have taken part in various fundraising running events throughout the year, and have been training for today's Royal Parks Half Marathon, which winds its way through four of London's Royal Parks - Hyde Park, Green Park, St James's Park and Kensington Gardens. 

"We started George's Dragons fundraising on St George's Day 2019 and are taking part in challenges and running various events up until 10th Anniversary on 20th March 2020 - 10 years to the day our lives changed forever.

"We know that any seizure could take George from us and he is reliant on his medication to manage his condition, not treat it.

"We want to thank an amazing charity who has kept us going in the most difficult of times. Shooting Star Children's Hospices has provided respite for George and support for all of the family, keeping us calm and as sane as possible throughout the years.

So we have decided to run a year of fundraising all in aid of them." 

Their fundraising venture will culminate in the London Marathon next year:

"It seems very timely as it'll be exactly 10 years since I did the last London Marathon, which was around the time George started to become ill, so it will mean a lot to me to have that as my final challenge of our fantastic fundraising year". 

To support all the running, the family, along with friends, have been holding special events including a recent quiz night which raised £2,500 alone - taking their total to over £8,000 raised so far

"Our campaign is about putting Shooting Star Children's Hospices at the forefront of people's minds and ensuring they get the funding they desperately need.

 "Whatever the future holds for us, dealing with the impact of George's condition is made bearable because of Shooting Star Children's Hospices and we simply couldn't function without them. 

They are the greatest support network to anyone in our position." 

You can find out more about George's Dragons events and the fundraiser and Shooting Star Children's Hospices here. 

Nicky Ludlow


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