London Marathon Challenge

Emplas Sales Director, Jody Vincent, will take on the London Marathon this October in the hope of raising more than £4,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Jody is taking on the London Marathon challenge after the hospital was instrumental in the delivery of life-saving treatment of his eldest daughter Summer, now aged 11.

At only three-months old, she was diagnosed with a rare tumour growing from her jugular vein. One of only three known cases in medical history, Summer underwent life-saving surgery at Glenfield Hospital, Leicestershire, to remove the tumour, which had wrapped itself around Summers other organs.

This included open-heart surgery to ‘harvest’ her pericardium (the lining of the heart), which was used to reform the section of her jugular vein taken out in the operation to remove the tumour.

“It is an incredibly rare condition”, explained Jody, who now also has a second daughter with wife Louise, Amber, aged-5. “At the time it was one of only three-cases ever recorded.

“The tumour grew from Summer’s jugular vein a little bit like a vine, and wrapped itself around her throat and other organs.

“Glenfield Hospital did the initial operation but her ongoing care has been delivered by Great Ormond Street, and that’s who I’m running for in October.”

Now a county champion gymnast, Summer has undergone regular checks and MRI scans at Great Ormond Street since the age of four.

“It’s amazing what they [Great Ormond Street] do. They make the experience for children as good as it possibly can be.  There are mirrors in the MRI scanner and reflect a DVD that they allow the kids to choose, everything to make it feel more normal”, Jody explains. These experiences inspired him to run the London Marathon on their behalf.

“At the start we were going every few weeks, then every few months and we now go annually just before Christmas and tie-it in with a trip to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, so there’s something in it for her [Summer]. Every time we go the support that we get has been incredible.”

The London Marathon will take place on 2 October. Held as a virtual event last year, this year’s challenge will be held as a hybrid-event with 50,000 runners undertaking the 26.2mile course through London and a further 40,000 entrants running wherever they are at the same time.

Jody will be among the former group pounding the streets of the capital, the second time he’ll have run it for charity. He also completed a charity cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 2012, again in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. The London Marathon is just is latest challenge.

He hopes to add to his running tally of £30,000 this year and is asking the industry to get behind him. “The care we have had at Great Ormond Street has been incredible and we’re massively grateful for everything. Summer wouldn’t be here without it, and a lot of other very poorly children also wouldn’t be here”, Jody says.

“I appreciate that things are tight financially for everyone right now but this is really vital work, much of it funded by charitable donations.

“If you can spare anything at all, however small, it will all go to a fantastic organisation, that transforms the lives of children, young people and their families, every day.”

To donate to Jody’ and Summer’s London Marathon Great Ormond Street Fund please click here.

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