RBC Race for the Kids goes virtual - join GOSH patient Rowan and run your race at home!

Two years after completing his treatment for leukaemia, former Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) patient Rowan is encouraging everyone to lace up their trainers and take part in RBC Race for the Kids 2020, the first virtual edition of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity's (GOSH Charity's) annual fun run. 

Rowan's Story

In March 2015, after collapsing in his mum’s arms in a GP car park, Rowan was blue-lighted to Watford Hospital where he was diagnosed with leukaemia. He was five years old at the time. 

From there, Rowan was swiftly transferred to GOSH, where he was taken straight to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for emergency chemotherapy. 

Rowan’s mum, Abby, says of their arrival: “We were seen by Dr David O’Connor and Dr Nick Goulden (one of the consultants who has now retired). They were absolutely tremendous – we’re very lucky to have been received by them and they treated Rowan through the night.” 

Rowan stayed in the PICU for three days. Once he was stabilised, he was moved to Giraffe Ward – the hospital’s cancer unit – where he stayed for about a month. 

After leaving Giraffe Ward, Rowan was in and out of GOSH regularly for chemotherapy. “We were coming in every four weeks … then every 12 weeks. We were regulars,” says Abby. 

Luckily, Rowan responded well to the chemotherapy, and has now come to the end of his treatment. 

During his time at GOSH, Rowan really got to know the staff and other patients at the hospital, and so he’ll be a little sad not to visit as much. 

“As much as it hasn’t been nice to have all the treatments, he sees it as another part of his family,” says Abby. 

Rowan at RBC Race for the Kids

Rowan takes part in Race for the Kids 2018

Rowan has taken part in RBC Race for the Kids every year since he first arrived at GOSH.

“Rowan has been determined to do it, and every year he has… whether that be walking a bit and running a bit,” explains Abby. 

“One year, he just couldn’t do it all, so we pushed him round in a wheelchair and he got out to walk the last 100 yards over the finish line, which was very emotional.” 

In 2018, Rowan ran the hospital's end-of-treatment bell and celebrated by being the first to cross the RBC Race for the Kids start line, alongside a team of 100 of his family and friends. 

This year, RBC Race for the Kids looks a little different. Whilst it's not taking place in London’s Hyde Park, GOSH Charity is still committed to uniting thousands of fundraisers from across the UK to help make a difference to seriously ill children. 

You can race your own way as part of a new-look, virtual event suitable for all ages and abilities. Choose from between a 2.5k, 5k, 10k or a distance of your own choice and run, walk, wheel, skip or scoot across that virtual finish line, all whilst raising money for the seriously ill children from around the UK that come to GOSH every day. 

Rowan and his family are taking part at home in Hemel Hampstead and Rowan has recorded a special message to encourage others to join in:

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