RBC Race for the Kids: Our way of saying thank you

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) has always been a part of nine-year-old Charlie’s life. He’s been taking part in RBC Race for the Kids with his family since 2012.

When Charlie was born in 2007, doctors soon realised he was missing his right ear and had a lump on his right eye and the top of his head. At only four days old, local consultants along with experts at GOSH diagnosed Charlie with Goldenhar syndrome.

Nine years later, and after 12 operations, Charlie still visits GOSH and has recently had a procedure at Moorfields Eye Hospital due to an ulcer developing in his eye.

Growing up with the condition

“When Ellie and I first found out about Charlie’s condition we were shocked, concerned and confused, but we had fantastic guidance from GOSH,” says Charlie’s dad, Giles. “Charlie is getting used to his condition. He’s grown up with impaired hearing and vision and he’s had a few problems with his thumbs recently. He’s got used to writing without using his thumbs but has also had his hand in plaster for the past three months, so he’s learned to do his school work with his left hand.

“He can still beat me at FIFA on the Xbox though, with the one hand he can currently use and his good eye stitched closed – perhaps that says more for my skills!

“Charlie spends time running his little sister, Lucy, ragged and winding up his brother, Hayden. They’ve grown up with Charlie’s condition and have accepted him for who he is: a loving sibling and annoying brother! Charlie plays with his friends, loves rugby and football, he just does everything he enjoys doing regardless of his challenges in the past.”

The best day ever

“Hayden was raising money for GOSH at his rugby club. We got in touch with GOSH and the next thing we knew, someone from Harlequins contacted us and asked if Hayden and Charlie wanted to be mascots at the Big Game 5 at Twickenham. 

“We’ve had some really good opportunities through GOSH. We were the family on all of the posters for the 2013 RBC Race for the Kids event. We’d come to London for Charlie’s appointments and we’d see ourselves on the trains and escalator posters – the boys didn’t really get it!”

Our way of saying thank you

“GOSH gave us a big poster that had our photo on it, which was used for RBC Race for the Kids. We used it at our fundraising car boot sale. Car boot sales are a really good way of keeping the boys’ rooms tidy and raising money for RBC Race for the Kids each year. The poster and leaflets also spread the word in our local area. We had bunting and flags too.

“We get quite competitive with fundraising. Each year, we have family and friends taking part and there’s always a race to see who can raise the most. The website is great because it has your chart and you can see how you’re doing.

“RBC Race for the Kids is an important family event for us. It’s our way of saying thank you for everything GOSH have helped Charlie with. You can say thank you to the doctors a hundred times, but raising money is such a good way of giving back. We really enjoy the event and usually take a picnic for afterwards.”

Sign your family up to RBC Race for the Kids and join us in Hyde Park on Saturday 7 October gosh.org/raceforthekids.

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