On what would have been Joshua’s second birthday, Emma Evans tells us about running for a reason in the Swansea Bay 10k to remember her son…
In October 2013 our son Joshua arrived 16 weeks early. He was tiny, but perfect in every way.
He was really brave and fought hard to stay with us, but at a week old, he developed a bowel problem called necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) which took his life. Sadly it’s a common disease in premature babies and typically strikes without warning and by the time it is diagnosed, babies are often extremely ill.
Action Medical Research is funding a study to develop a test which could help identify and treat NEC sooner, to help reduce the chance of it becoming life-threatening, which is why we decided to raise money for them.
Hopefully it can help stop other families going through the devastating loss we have.
Last year my sister Ceri and her friends ran the Swansea Bay 10k in Joshua's memory, with me and my husband Rob cheering them on, and we said: ‘We'll do that next year for him’.
Neither of us are runners so it was a real challenge for us.
Along with Ceri and our good friend Christian, we signed up for the run, with Joshua's baby sister Ellie and his seven-year-old cousin Holly signing up for the children's 1km race (pictured from left are Ceri, Emma, Rob and Christian).
We chose the name Team Joshua and it felt good to be doing something for our son to raise money for such a great charity.
We had a target of £500 and have been overwhelmed by the generosity of family, friends and colleagues: our total is at £1,200 and still climbing.
It was an emotional day, but with our Action Medical Research t-shirts on and our Team Joshua rosettes, we knew we would complete it for our special boy.
Pictured is Joshua's little sister Ellie smiling after the race, having slept while being pushed the 1k
If you’re interested in running for a reason, we have places in the world's greatest and best-known events and races – or if you choose to take part in any race near you or further afield, whatever the distance, we can support you all the way in preparation for your amazing challenge. For more details, visit action.org.uk/events/running