Supporters 50th year charity challenges

Rockinghorse supporter Andy Fountain, has chosen to undertake a number of challenges in aid of our 50th year appeal.

Driven by his own experiences of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton, Andy shares his story of the motivation behind the challenges, and explains what he’s signed himself up for…

“As I approach the start of my 50th year, I wanted to find a way to raise funds for Rockinghorse – the charity that supports the Alex.

On 2 September 1994 my first son Eddie was born. Unfortunately he had a condition that meant his mouth wasn’t connected to his stomach so could not feed. This meant that at only a few hours old, he was in surgery to repair his oesophagus. This was a very worrying time for (my wife) Amanda and myself, seeing our baby in intensive care after such major surgery [pictured above left].

The staff at the Alex were absolutely fantastic and did whatever they could to reassure us that Eddie would be okay. During the first year of his life, Eddie had many more operations due to the scar tissue on his oesophagus becoming constrictive and needing to be stretched. If that was not enough, it was decided that Eddie would need to have surgery to correct pyloric stenosis.

Eddie’s first birthday was spent going back and forth to the hospital to have a tube that was inserted into his stomach which was used to feed him. Eventually the tube was taken out and we could feed him like a normal baby! His final visit to the Alex (at their new site) was as a six-foot adolescent [pictured above right], prior to being transferred under the care of the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath as an adult.

He has now been discharged from medical care and although he still gets a bit of reflux and can be seen pushing his throat when eating, he shows no lasting ill effects of his condition. I am taking on some challenges to raise funds for the Alex as my way of saying thanks – albeit a very small way given what the hospital has done for us!

The challenges I have signed up for so far, are:
10/09/2017 – Surrey Bacchus Marathon
16/09/2017 – Swim Serpentine London Classics
23/09/2017 – The Gauntlet Half Iron Triathlon
22/10/2017 – Abingdon Marathon
25/02/2018 – Brighton Half Marathon
25/03/2018 – London Landmarks Half Marathon
15/04/2018 – Brighton Marathon
22/04/2018 – London Marathon (currently in the ballot)
17/06/2018 – Lakesman Half Iron Triathlon
13-15/07/2018 – Long Course Weekend Wales

I am hoping to add extra events throughout the year, but entry fees have mounted. If anyone knows any organisers that are willing to donate or discount entry fees, I would love to hear from them. I did manage to take advantage of the volunteer entry scheme for The Gauntlet Half Iron Triathlon, having marshalled at both days of their Hever Castle weekend events last year, so thank you to Castle Triathlon for that.

If anyone would be able to spare a few quid for Rockinghorse, please sponsor me via my Virgin Money Giving page, by clicking here.


Our thanks to Andy for sharing his story. To find out more about the projects we’re supporting for our 50th year appeal, Sussex Giving for Sussex Children, please click here.

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