Parents Go The Distance To Give Back A kind-hearted mum and dad from Shrewsbury have been named this week’s Charity Champions after raising over £800 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. Sam Harding, 40, and Tom Harding, 42, turned to fundraising to say thank you for the care their son, Billy, received at the children’s hospital when he was born. When Sam was 22 weeks pregnant, she was told her baby’s kidneys weren’t functioning properly and would need to be seen by specialists when he was born. As soon as he arrived, Billy was referred to the Urology Department at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and during the first four months of his life, he stayed in hospital a total of nine times and had four operations on his kidneys and bladder. Sam said: “Birmingham Children’s Hospital is very close to our hearts, not only have they treated Billy, but five years ago they also looked after our eldest son, Dougie, who spent a week in the Neurology Ward when he was just five-months-old. We couldn’t be more grateful to the hospital’s amazing staff – without them, who knows where we would be today. “We decided we wanted to do something to give back to the hospital and say thank you, as well as help future patients and families, so that’s why Tom and I signed up to the half marathon. “We’d never done anything like this before and it was definitely a challenge for us both. It was difficult to get out and train as we had to take it in turns to watch the boys but we got there and completed the 13 miles in two hours 34 minutes - which we were really pleased with.” The duo were over the moon when their total passed the £800 mark - raising £869 in total. Sam added: “We can’t thank our family and friends enough for all of their support. They all know how special Birmingham Children’s Hospital is and wanted to back our challenge. “Now two-years-old, Billy is still under the care of the children’s hospital. He had his most recent scan last week and we’re now just waiting to find out the results.” Serena Daw, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We’re so proud of Sam and Tom for completing the half marathon and raising such a fantastic amount for our charity. It’s always inspiring to hear how our world-class hospital and incredible staff inspire parents to take on challenges like the Great Birmingham Run to help give something back. “The money they have raised will go on to support the 90,000 sick kids who use our hospital every year – helping ensure they have the best possible experience while they are with us.” If you’d like to follow in Sam and Tom’s footsteps and run for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity in the Great Birmingham Run next year, visit www.bch.org.uk, email [email protected] or call 0121 333 8506.