11th March 2019

A Shrewsbury dad will be thinking of his son and the children's hospice that helps to care for him as he steps over the start line at the London Marathon next month.

Andrew Davies's son Tommy was born with the life threatening condition Muscular Dystrophy and stays regularly at Shropshire's Hope House Children's Hospice for respite care.

Hope House has also provides help and support for Tommy's brother and sisters and the whole family so it was, says Andrew, 54, a 'no-brainer' when it came to choosing a charity to support with his run.

"Tommy started going to Hope House when he was 12 and he's now 17, and they have been brilliant," says his mum Emma.

"Hope House has supported our entire family from helping us to apply for money for Tommy's new wheelchair to having us all to stay while our house and Tommy's room were adapted.

"The Sibling Support team have done so much to help our other children such as taking them out to activity days, the cinema and for meals out, sometimes on their own and sometimes with other kids in the same position.

"When Tommy's hoist broke down we were told it would take 14 weeks to get it repaired - I said what can we do? He can't have a bath! He's a 17-year-old lad sitting down all the time? So it was back to Hope House again to help us get it sorted.

"Every single time we hit a snag - which unfortunately happens frequently when you have a disabled child - Hope House comes in and helps us pick up the pieces.

"People think that there would be state funded agencies that assist families with children who have life limiting disabilities but there isn't. There is literally no one we can turn to except Hope House. Thankfully they are always there for us."

It won't be the first time Andrew has flown the flag for Hope House - Four years ago he and Tommy took part in the first Shrewsbury Half Marathon with Andrew dressed as a clown pushing Tommy in his wheelchair, dressed as a parrot!

"When Tommy was younger we took part in lots of local races together such as the Shrewsbury Half and the Market Drayton 10K, but now he is older he has had to retire because he feels the bumps more and it is too painful," says Andrew.

"But Tommy will be at home following my progress online around London - well unless he is on his PS4!"

This will be Andrew's fifth London Marathon. He has also taken part in marathons in Berlin, Athens, Toronto, Telford, Hereford and Wolverhampton.

"What I like about marathons is the training and keeping fit - and knowing I will be raising money for Hope House makes it even better! You get a real buzz at the end," he adds.

If you would like to help Andrew and Tommy to reach their £500 target for Hope House please visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Andrew-Davies104 to donate.


Andrew in his Hope House running vest
Andrew and Tommy at the Shrewsbury Half Marathon