When we talk about Only the Brave, our mud obstacle run, we often compare our crew to heroes, saying how brave they are. However, today we want to tell you about someone else we think is incredibly brave.
On 27 September 2015, Serena Ford and her family faced their biggest challenge. How to rebuild their lives. Serena’s 15 month old son, Thomas, was out with his Mummy, Daddy and two sisters when he picked a blackberry to eat. Thomas had eaten blackberries many times before but unfortunately on this occasion, he choked. Emergency services were called and East Anglian Air Ambulance arrived on scene. Dr Drew Welch and his team gave him the best possible care and flew Thomas to hospital; however, he sadly died three days later.
Since this terrible tragedy, Thomas’ brave family have worked tirelessly in his memory to raise awareness of choking in babies and children and to raise money in aid of EAAA. They have organised CPR demonstrations within their community to show others what to do if they found their baby or child in a similar situation, and they have held incredible fundraising events. On 1 April 2017, Serena and her team ‘#forthomas’ will be taking on Only the Brave. It is the Ford family’s wish that as much as possible is done so that no other family has to go through what they have been through, and that EAAA can be there for all those who need them.
Whilst this is a very sad story to be sharing with you at the start of Only the Brave, we want the bravery shown by Serena and her family to encourage and inspire. When you are out training in the cold and rain, think of Thomas and the bravery of his family. When you feel you may not reach your sponsorship target, share Thomas’ story. When you are half way around the course and just can’t face another obstacle, think of Serena and her little boy.
We know that the strength needed to complete Only the Brave will pale in comparison to the tragedy of losing Thomas. We also know the money raised by Serena, her team, and everybody – including you – taking part in Only the Brave will allow our crew to continue to be there in times of need across the region.
Some of you have chosen to fundraise as well as take on our challenge, those of you who haven’t, perhaps you might consider making a donation in Thomas’ memory.
If you see Serena or any of #forthomas along the route, cheer them on!
To sign up to Only the Brave click here
To donate to Serena’s Just Giving page click here