Southwater dad’s marathon challenge for children’s hospital

Christian O'Malley and his stepson Harry. Christian is running the London Marathon to raise money for the Evelina London Children's Hospital where Harry has receive life-changing kidney transplant and dialysis treatment - picture submitted by Christian O'Malley
Christian O'Malley and his stepson Harry. Christian is running the London Marathon to raise money for the Evelina London Children's Hospital where Harry has receive life-changing kidney transplant and dialysis treatment - picture submitted by Christian O'Malley

A man from Southwater will run the London Marathon this month to raise money for the hospital where his step-son received life-changing treatment.

Christian O’Malley’s step-son Harry had his first kidney transplant when he was two years old.

After some years it has sadly failed, and so he had to have dialysis from late 2013 and has been receiving intensive treatment at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

Just recently though, his life has been transformed after Christian and his wife karen learnt how to give Harry home dialysis.

It has keeping them very busy, but it means they no longer have to visit the hospital three times every week.

Christian said: “The staff at the hospital are absolutely amazing and they make the children feel really special – which they all are.

“Whenever Harry has spent a birthday on the ward, the nurses have always made a big fuss of him, including birthday banners on the walls, a card and pressie.

“On his last day of hospital dialysis at Evelina London, they presented him with a huge card full of special messages from all the members of staff. It really feels like one big family.

“I would urge anyone to consider either raising awareness or funds for Evelina London.

“Much of the treatment they provide is literally life-saving, and so any fundraising that can help towards this can only be a positive thing.”

Christian is also passionate to get people signed up to the organ donor register.

He said: “These are life-saving operations. I know families where they have not had the transplant in time.

“You can be saving someone’s life being on the register; not just for one person. You can save three or four people’s lives by doing that single thing.

“We are close to it. It’s life saving treatment and it is going on on a daily basis.”

As well as being specialists in kidney transplants and dialysis, Evelina London is the UK’s leading hospital for paediatric heart services and a specialist cleft lip surgery, metabolic conditions, allergy and neurology.

Christian is hoping to raise £1,500 by running the marathon on Sunday April 24 and the company he works for will match sponsorship up to £1,000.

To sponsor him in his feat go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Christian.OMalley

For information about the hospital’s work go to www.supportevelina.org.uk