"What RBC Race for the Kids means to me"

13 Sep 2021, 4:32 p.m.

Two photos. One of Thomas in bed at GOSH smiling and holding balloon. Another one of Thomas and his mum cheering together after taking part in RBC Race for the Kids

RBC Race for the Kids, the ultimate family fun run, is back for another year!

Taking place on the 16 - 17 October, we're inviting everyone to run, walk, wheel or scoot a set distance (from 1km to 15km) and raise vital funds for GOSH Charity.

For those who don't know, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) founded Race for the Kids in 2009. It started out as a small event, but since then it's grown – now spanning 17 races worldwide. The UK event raises money for GOSH Charity.

Below we chat with three families who have taken part over the years, to find out what RBC Race for the Kids means to them.

Running on a blade

Thomas (above) was born with his knee fixed at a 90-degree angle. Aged nine, after years of surgeries, casts, braces, and an Ilizarov frame, he made the brave decision to undergo amputation at GOSH. He has never looked back!

“My life has changed in a very positive way. I can now do the stuff that I couldn’t do before and I can take part in more activities, including more sports.”

The first time Thomas and his family did RBC Race for the Kids was was not long after amputation.

"We were stood at the starting line, and we were chatting to the people who had the horn," his mum, Georgina, recalls. "We explained that he had only had his amputation a few months earlier, and they let Thomas blow the starting horn. He was really chuffed."

The family will be doing their third Race for the Kids this year. Like last year, Thomas will be taking part using his running blade.

“I would encourage people to take part in Race for the Kids because it helps GOSH and it’s a fun thing to do," he says. “I remember the staff and the nurses at GOSH were really nice. When I didn’t have to go in as much, it was sad as I’d been there for ages. Great Ormond Street is more than a hospital.”

Thomas, 12

Join Thomas and Race for the Kids this year.

Almost a decade of Race for the Kids

Amecia looks at her baby brother, who is being held by their dad, outside during Race for the Kids

So far, GOSH patient Amecia (pictured with her dad and little brother above) and her family have taken part in RBC Race for the Kids nine times!

"I feel like Race for the kids is an inclusive community," Amecia, 15, says. “Everyone is just having fun and raising money for GOSH."

"Being a child with lots of different medical problems, I basically grew up in GOSH and Evelina Hospital," she adds. "GOSH is a special hospital because they put children first and make the hospital as child friendly as possible."

Amecia was born with chronic lung disease, weighing only 1lb 7.

She arrived at GOSH aged one, for treatment on the hospital’s cardiac intensive care unit.

“It was so frightening...but the doctors and nurses were so lovely," Amecia's mum, Caroline, recalls. "They really helped at what was a very difficult time."

"The hardworking staff on the unit were so sensitive and kind. I'll always remember how they took their time to prepare us for everything they could," she adds.

For Caroline, taking part in RBC Race for the Kids has been a way to give back to the hospital.

"GOSH will always have a special place in our hearts," she says.

Little feet, big steps

Aanya jumps in the air outside, smiling

It’s not just GOSH families taking part.

Last year, seven-year-old-Aanya took part in RBC Race for the Kids with a huge team of family and friends from across the globe.

She and her team – “Little feet big steps” – logged enough steps to walk the length of the Grand Canyon!

The team received support from Aanya’s family, school friends and chess club, as well Calibrate Consulting.

Together, they raised over £3,500– making it to our list of “top fundraisers”.

Aanya fundraises for GOSH Charity because, when she was a toddler, her friend was diagnosed with leukemia and treated at a hospital in the US.

Her friend made a good recovery. But by the time Aanya was four, she was determined to raise money to help other seriously ill children like her friend.

Living in London at that point, she and her mum chose GOSH Charity.

“Little feet big steps” are taking part in RBC Race for the Kids again this year and want to make it a global initiative – they’re even hoping to find a teammate in Antarctica.

“I’m raising money for GOSH so they can make lots of children better, and every step I take makes a big difference."

Aanya, 8

Best of luck to all of these amazing participants.

Want to follow in their footsteps? Form a team (or go it alone), choose a location and cover your kilometres this 16-17 October.