In March 2017, 10 runners completed the North London Half Marathon, earning sponsorship of £8,830 for Microtia UK.
All money raised will provide support, resources, information, and events for children, adults and families affected by microtia. Microtia UK is a peer-support oraganisation, run entirely by volunteers, and funded exclusively by donations. The thousands resulting from this event will make a huge difference to our community.
So why did the runners decide to take part? One explains: “I ran because since my son was born with right sided microtia and atresia two years ago, Microtia UK has been invaluable to me. I have turned to the community it has set up for advice and I enjoy being part of this group who support each other on a daily basis.
‘Most importantly, the information available through Microtia UK has increased my understanding of the condition and its impact, so that I can do my best…for my son.’
Another parent wants ‘to be a good role model to his son,’ who has microtia. By demonstrating success in challenges like this marathon, he will help him to have ‘a strong sense of self confidence.’
Raising money after receiving help from Microtia UK is a theme for many of the runners, with one reporting: ‘The information from the charity answered so many questions for us, and meeting other families, adults and children with microtia was an amazing support for us and still is.
‘The advice from Microtia UK…make[s] sure we can make informed choices for [our son’s] future. Not all families have that guidance as not all professionals know about Microtia.
‘So to say thank you to Microtia UK, and to show our funny, smiley, lively little boys that Daddy used to move more than to the fridge and car before they were born, I ran my first half marathon!’
Another runner, who himself has microtia, agrees with the importance of ‘show[ing] that anything can be achieved in a short period of time if you put your mind to it.’ He also ran ‘for those who couldn’t,’ and ‘to raise awareness of microtia and the work that Microtia UK is doing.’
Close friends of families with microtia were among those completing the challenge. One explains: ‘I know of her family’s journey and the difficulty she went through in the beginning to really understand microtia and obtain support.
‘I have attended and worked for a few functions for the organisation and was incredibly impressed with the aim and strategy with respect to medical advancement, as well as the equally important aspect of helping families in need of emotional support…struggling to make sense of the condition and successfully navigate the system to obtain proper care. This was a fantastic opportunity to push myself toward an ambitious goal.’
Another friend agrees: ‘Although the training was hard, the whole experience had been amazing, and I hope to be able to continue raising money for the charity in the future. It’s a fantastic cause that does so much for the families affected by microtia, and it’s been a privilege to be a small part of the fundraising effort.
‘Running was my way of showing [my friend] and his lovely family my support and friendship. It has been very humbling to meet some of the team, and see just how much time and effort everyone puts in.’
For more information on the work of Microtia UK, see: http://www.microtiauk.org/aims_and_objectives.php
If you are interested in raising funds through marathon sponsorship or through any other means, please contact Nicola on firstname.lastname@example.org . Nicola is Director of Sports Fundraising – she has microtia, and has just completed the Norwich Half Marathon to raise funds for our charity.