A father and son team from Luton is running the London Marathon to thank a charity for the opportunity it gave them to spend precious time with their daughter after she had died.
Colin Moore, 25 from Galston Road, Luton, said he can never thank Keech Hospice Care enough.
“My incredible and inspirational little girl lived for just eight hours,” said Colin. “My wife and I spent that night in the hospital room with our daughter, holding her, crying. The next morning, after Sofia had died, Keech Hospice Care phoned and offered us the opportunity to come and stay so we could spend more time with our baby.”
Sofia was born in February 2015 with a rare condition which meant her bones were weak and her skeleton had not formed properly, causing her breathing difficulties.
“We could not believe it when we heard Sofia cry for the first time,” said Colin. “It was a sound we weren’t expecting and one my wife and I will always remember.
“Sofia lived for just 45 minutes without being hooked up to any equipment. We held her and comforted her. I can’t describe the pain I felt, and still feel, losing our beautiful daughter.
“That phone call we got from Keech Hospice Care the following morning meant the world to us. Keech helped us through a terrible time and what’s more, gave all of our family and friends the chance to meet Sofia. My wife and I were able to spend more precious time with her and our son Lewis got to see his sister.”
“Last year was a terrible year for my family as my Grandad was diagnosed with leukaemia and given two weeks to live. He was the head of our family and everybody went to him for advice or a good story. Again, it was Keech Hospice Care who looked after him and made sure he was as comfortable as possible when he died.”
Keech Hospice Care relies on the community for 70% of its funding for its survival.
“I now know first-hand what a difference my local hospice makes to the lives of families just like mine.
“I’m really looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere with my dad, also called Colin Moore, 51, from Greenfield, Bedfordshire on the day of the marathon. I’ll be carrying some of Sofia’s hair with me to give me strength and plan to listen to the song we played at her funeral. I’ll cry on numerous occasions but I will finish it in honour of Sofia and my Grandad, no matter how painful it gets.”