Thursday, December 8, 2022

Grays dad takes on London Marathon in memory of son

A DAD from Grays, is taking on the London Marathon to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust, the charity that supported him when his sons were involved in a motorbike accident.

Jamie Benton will be taking part in the country’s largest marathon this Sunday (2 October) to thank the charity for keeping him close to his sons, Jimmy and Joe, when they were involved in a motorbike accident in 2016.

Jimmy, who was 17 at the time, suffered a serious head injury and was airlifted to the Royal London Hospital by the Air Ambulance. Joe, who was 16, was also later transferred to the same hospital was a serious injury to his leg. The doctors only gave Jimmy a one percent chance of survival but, after four months of specialist care, he was discharged. While Joe made a full recovery, Jimmy sadly passed away 14 months later from the injuries he suffered at the accident.

Throughout Jimmy and Joe’s time at the Royal London Hospital, Jamie could always be by their side as he was supported with a free place to stay at Stevenson House. The ‘Home from Home’ run by The Sick Children’s Trust provides families with a place to stay just minutes from their child’s hospital bedside.

To thank the charity for supporting him, Jamie will be taking on the London Marathon for second time in his life. After raising money for the Air Ambulance last time around, this year he will be raising vital funds for The Sick Children’s Trust. 

Jamie said: “I was offered a place to stay right next door to The Royal London Hospital and this took a massive amount of pressure off me. I didn’t have to commute from our home in Grays, which was 25 miles away, to be with Jimmy and Joe and we could just focus on their recovery.

“Without The Sick Children’s Trust and Stevenson House I wouldn’t have been able to be so close to Jimmy and Joe at a very stressful and emotional time. I wanted to run the London Marathon to raise money for the Air Ambulance and The Sick Children’s Trust to repay the gratitude I have for both of these wonderful charities.

“While I’ve completed a marathon before I wouldn’t exactly call myself a runner. I’ve always been quite sporty though so I’m looking forward to Sunday and raising as much as I can for this great charity.”

The Sick Children’s Trust does not charge families to stay in any of its ten ‘Homes from Home’ and this year the charity is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Since 1982 it has supported over 73,000 families, like Jamie’s, with a place to stay close to their seriously ill child’s hospital bedside. Community Fundraising Manager, Elisa Coppello-Dowd, said:

“It was such tragic circumstances that brought Jamie to stay at Stevenson House, but we are glad we were able to support him so he could stay as close as possible to Jimmy and Joe during this difficult time.

“We can’t thank Jamie enough for his support by taking on the London Marathon to raise money to support our ‘Homes from Home’. While it is completely free for a family to stay in our ‘Homes from Home’, it does cost the charity £40 to support a family for one night. That is why the generosity of our supporters and the efforts of fundraisers like Jamie are so vital in making sure we can continue to be there supporting more families.

More information about Jamie’s fundraising can be found on his Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jamie-benton

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