Darren’s Iron Man

Darren Bowler, one of our trustees was once known as “the fat controller”. Amazingly, he is doing an incredible iron man event in Switzerland in a couple of weeks. It involves a 3.8k swim (in the lake with 2500 others) , 180km cycle (through the Alps) and finally he has to run a full marathon. He is doing this quite ridiculous event (which sounds to me like 12 hours of utter pain) all to Aid the Christian Blandford Fund.

Here he is with another Trustee Amy and Rachel from St George’s

Darren, Amy and Rachel

This is what Darren writes…

I’ve bored most of you before about my triathlons but this time the mid life lycra crisis has spiraled out of control !!! . On July 15th I’m attempting IRONMAN ZURICH . That’s a ridonkulus 3.8k swim (in the lake with 2500 other idiots!) , 180km cycle (apparently there are a few hills..ie the alps !) followed by the small matter of a marathon . My target is to complete it in 14 hours .
The good news is that I’m not asking for your hard earned cash to donate to some big charity where you are never really sure how/where your money is spent ….because I’m actually going to be spending the money myself ! . No not on a new spanking carbon bike . I am one of the trustees of the Christian Blandford fund and my focus has been spending the cash we have raised . The aim of the Christian Blandford fund is to improve the comfort of children and their families, particularly those affected by cancer, during prolonged stays in local NHS hospitals .


Over the last couple of years we have been able to make a real difference . A couple of months ago we saw the opening of a paediatric patients playground at St Georges hospital Tooting . The CBF contributed 30k to the cost of providing a real oasis for kids during their say in hospital . We have funded parents lounge , ultrasound machines to reduce the pain of frequent injections for kids , new sofabeds for parents who spend weeks…even months in hospital with there kids ,laptops and kindles for the kids to use ….the list goes on and on so please check out the site for all the details .

Please support me in my fundraising safe in the knowledge that every penny donated (we have NO costs) will be spent wisely and will make a real difference to kids and there parents during prolonged hospital visits .
Cheers,

Darren

The Virgin Money Giving page is here

Darren completed this grueling event in 14 hours ours, here is what he writes…

I just wanted to say a big thanks to each and every one of you for your support for my Ironman attempt on Sunday .

My day started at 7am with a gentle hour and a half swim . Then it got difficult ! …. The 7 1/2 hours on the bike was a
real slog . Hampered by rain ,wind and even hail, it was fair to say morale was fairly low at times . 180km later I was desperate
to get off the bike…. even if it did mean starting a marathon . I managed just over 2 hours for the first half but then ran out
of steam and finished the run in 4:45 . My target for completing the Ironman was 14 hours …..I finished in 14 hours and 40 seconds ! .

Your support and generosity helped keep me going on the day and thanks again from all of us at the Christian Blandford fund . So far
a staggering £12,500 has been raised . Mark my word every penny will be wisely spent ! .

All the very best Darren

Please feel free to give Darren encouragement with Facebook Comments here and like this page on facebook.

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Christian Meets Mark Owen and Opens a Garden

The Christian Blandford Fund made a significant contribution toward this amazing new garden at St George’s. It is a wonderful private space for children to get away from the wards. Mark Owen was very kind to come and open it. He was fantastic, signing loads of autographs, posing for photos, visiting the wards, and presenting the hospital with a £20,000 from The Take That Foundation. The photos are here.

Christian and Mark

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Lovely post from Post Pals

There is a lovely write up from the wonderful people at post pals who loved Christian’s dancing video.

Here is what they write…
When Christian joined Post Pals he was a very poorly little boy fighting cancer for the second time, after finishing gruelling treatment for kidney cancer and enjoying a brief remission, the cancer returned. Christian was given a poor chance of making it even with all the treatment- weeks of radiation, months of gruelling chemotherapy and even a stem cell transplant. One of my all time favourite Post Pal pictures is of him with a little super hero kit a volunteer had sent, amazing how a bit of fabric, a paper mask and a sticker can transport a child into their imagination.

The reason I’m posting about Christian is we are sadly all too often sharing devastating news, but not today. Instead here is a video made by superhero Christian himself, dancing to Michael Jackson and duetting with himself!

Once you’ve watched the video check out the amazing charity the family set up, they realised a lot of people support the main children’s or cancer hospitals yet the local hospitals which children spend a lot of time in with infections or for transfusions rarely get support. They decided instead of fundraising for huge items they instead would do the little things others don’t think of, like buying decent curtains for the children’s ward so the kids no longer wake up at sunrise in the summer – a truly wonderful charity working away quietly at improving families quality of life. You can see their website  here.

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Christian’s Double Dancing

It’s been a while since we’ve had a video of Christian’s dancing, this is something he put together all on his own, even the editing…

 

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December 2011

16th December 2011

Christian had his 6 monthly checkup today. All good with nothing to worry about. Apparently now that he has been clear for four and a half years, the chance of a relapse is “tiny”.

Hooray!!!

14th December 2011

We have ordered all the toys for Santa to deliver to the children’s wards at St George’s on the 23rd December. Ho ho ho!

12th December 2011

We have bought 20 cot mobiles for the Hedgehog Ward at Tunbridge Wells Hospital which Claudia is delivering next week.

10th December 2011

New Beacon Nativity

Christian and his class put on a lovely nativity play this year. The photos are here. If any parent wants a higher res copy of the photos please contact Peter.

3rd December 2011

Thank you to the lovely Leila Hacket at the wonderful Coco Cuscino for their continued support. They have just had an event to launch their amazing Christmas collection and gave a share of the proceeds to the Christian Blandford Fund.

1st December 2011

The Pinckney ward at St George’s now has a new Christmas tree and decorations thanks to The Christian Blandford Fund. Thank you to Darren Bowler and Marianne Sylvester for sorting it out.

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Christmas visit to St George’s

Just before Christmas, Christian, Peter and Henry went to St George’s again to be Santa and elves and hand out presents to children unfortunate enough to be in hospital during the festive period.

The Bowler family and the Hancox family did a great job of wrapping all the present and delivering them so they were ready for Santa to hand them out. This year we bought more than ever so plenty were left over for arrivals on or just after Christmas. Neil Berrecloth popped in to help and the play specialists, very efficient in sorting out the right presents for each child.

There are more photos on Facebook

The next day, I got this lovely e-mail

I just wanted to say “thank-you” on behalf of my son Alex, who received a lovely teddy. It really cheered him up, as did the visit from father Xmas and his little helper: his eyes lit up when he saw them (I think he was thinking “oh no, the door’s opening, someone in a uniform is coming to do something nasty to me”) and was lovely for his dad and mum to see. As you can appreciate, being in an isolation room at Xmas is pretty grim for a kid. Alex has been poorly all his life and is a “regular” at St George’s, despite living 60 miles away in West Sussex. The distance makes it particularly difficult as his brother William, who he is very close to, has to stay at his Grandma’s during his many stays at St George’s, so we are all split up as a family. Luckily, we were put on “home leave” for Xmas but must return next Friday.

I think your charity is brilliant. As soon as I read the poster in the posh new parents room I could tell that the person who wrote it had a real insight into life for kids and their families in this situation that only personal experience (unfortunately) can bring.

Merry Xmas to you all and keep up the good work!

Santa and the elves

 

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November 2011

23rd November 2011

Thank you to Sam Palmer and the Sevenoaks ladies joggers for donating £180 to the Christian Blandford Fund after they all ran the Brighton 10k and had a celebratory curry with Claudia. With gift aid, their donation is worth over £250.

20th November 2011

Congratulations to Claudia for raising over £2000 for the Christian Blandford fund and running the Brighton 10k in 1hr and 1 minute!

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Take That Tickets!!!

2nd July 2011

Hi all – we have 2 more Take That tickets to sell to raise money for our bike ride.1st July 2011 – More take that tickets!!!!! – this is from Fiona, one of the Blondes on bikes

TEXT ONLY your bid to Caroline Chalkley on 07788 598718 Opening/Reserve bid is £500 for both or £250 each

Bidding Closing 5pm Sunday 3rd July

2 x VIP – TAKE THAT TICKETS

WEMBLEY 6TH JULY

‘ROYAL ENCLOSURE’

BLOCK 252 ROW 1

All proceeds to go to www.theblandfords.com/christianblandford Fund

Good luck

x fi

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Blondes On Bikes

Blondes on Bikes

Caroline Watt

Rachael Morgan

Fiona Spencer

Caroline Chalkley

378 Kilometres, 3 days, 4 blondes!

Blondes on Bikes – for one weekend only!

16th – 19th June 2011

Who would have thought any good could ever come from a mid-life crisis?? Turning 40 years can make people do the strangest of things – we have a bought a lot of lycra and decided to cycle from London to Paris – for one weekend only “Blondes on Bikes” go on tour!

The “Blondes on Bikes” team is a small collection of 40ish year old mums with a total of 10 children between us.  We all live Wandsworth, so our local hospital is St Georges.  It is no surprise that St Georges provides a full range of General Paediatric Medicine inpatient and outpatient services.  There are five children’s wards including eight Paediatric Intensive Care Unit beds for critically ill children.  The BoB team feels lucky that it has not had to use any of these services, but being in the heart of “nappy valley” there are plenty of families that have and the wonderful resources available are stretched to their limit.

Here is the fundraising page

The Take That tickets raised an amazing £1300. Even better, Mark Owen and his lovely wife, Emma, donated a second set of tickets for the people who came second in the auction and offered £1350 for another set. This brings the total raised by the blondes on bikes to over an incredible £7000. Thank you so much!

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Blondes On Bikes

Four mum’s from Clapham are taking part in an amazing cycle ride to Paris. These are their words not mine…

Who would have thought any good could ever come from a mid-life crisis?? Turning 40 years can make people do the strangest of things – we have bought a lot of lycra and decided to cycle from London to Paris – for one weekend only “Blondes on Bikes” go on tour! 

The “Blondes on Bikes” team is a small collection of 40ish year old mums with a total of 10 children between us.  We all live Wandsworth, so our local hospital is St Georges.  It is no surprise that St Georges provides a full range of General Paediatric Medicine inpatient and outpatient services.  There are five children’s wards including eight Paediatric Intensive Care Unit beds for critically ill children.  The BoB team feels lucky that it has not had to use any of these services, but being in the heart of “nappy valley” there are plenty of families that have and the wonderful resources available are stretched to their limit. 

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