Two running enthusiasts from Bourne are ready to take on their biggest race yet in aid of a very special little boy.
Lifelong friends, Dale Falkner, 31, and Alex Grant, 26, have been gearing up to run this year’s London Marathon which will be taking place on May 26.
The pair from Bourne will be running on behalf of Meningitis Now, a cause close to their hearts after Dale’s son Sebastian, who is 10 months old, was diagnosed with Meningitis twice, the first time when he was only eight days old.
Dale said: “Meningitis Now helped to support us as a family when Sebastian was ill. He was only eight days old when he had his first attack and had to spend 10 days in intensive care.”
The first time Sebastian contracted meningitis he was admitted to Boston Pilgrim Hospital and put on antibiotics, shortly after he suffered a number of seizures and was transferred to Nottingham Queens Medical Centre where he was put into an induced coma and eventually the seizures stopped.
Dale said: “You don’t know anything about the illness until it affects you, it was absolutely horrific to go through. It really is heart wrenching.”
After three ‘terrifying’ weeks Dale and his partner Victoria were allowed to bring Sebastian home. They were told that Sebastian has slight brain damage but the full effects will not be known until he is older.
Unfortunately, when Sebastian was seven months old he became unwell again and was admitted to the Amazon Ward at Peterborough City Hospital where he was again diagnosed and treated for Meningitis.
Thankfully he had an uncomplicated recovery and was sent home well after 14 days.
Dale, along with Alex, who is Sebastian’s god father, will be hoping to raise a minimum of £1,800 each to go towards Meningitis Now, helping to fund vital research and costs towards family care.
This race will be a ‘new’ challenge for the pair who are used to getting down and dirty in a number of big obstacle races, including the Rat Race at Burghley Park near Stamford, which they have already signed up to do for this year, before realising they would be taking part in the London Marathon two weeks before.
But, with an ‘army of fundraisers’ behind them, the boys are positive that they will make it out the other side, all for a good cause.
Dale said: “We are looking forward to the atmosphere of the race and being in London. You just have to remember why you’re there and that’s to raise as much money as you can for a good cause.”
Sebastian’s mum, Victoria said: “I’m so proud of Dale running in the London Marathon and I can’t wait to tell Sebastian about it all when he grows up.
“We are very fortunate to have realised how poorly our little boy was and now he is thankfully developing well and reaching his milestones. Unfortunately not every person who contracts meningitis is this fortunate.”
To kick off the fundraising the pair will be holding a quiz night at Bourne Football Club tomorrow.