09:03AM, Tuesday 03 July 2012
A fundraising father whose son died from a rare heart condition is on track to complete 13 half marathons this year in his memory.
Gareth Ralphs, from Courthouse Road, Maidenhead, has already finished 10 of the half marathons and hopes to raise £13,013 in memory of his son, Max, for the Daisy’s Dream bereavement support charity in Twyford.
Max died at the family home in December 1999, after the healthy and sociable toddler developed flu-like symptoms. He was diagnosed with Myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart, which led to heart failure.
Gareth, who now has another son called Toby, said: “It was a terrible and traumatic shock. You don’t expect to ever bury your child”.
The married father-of-one has so far finished 10 half marathons in his personal challenge and said it feels good to have reached 'double figures'.
He is determined to keep Max’s memory alive through the runs and raise some much needed cash and awareness for the charity which supports children and families affected by bereavement.
The final half marathon will take place through the streets of Maidenhead on September 16, the week in which Max would have turned 14 years old.
So far Gareth has been pleased with his improving times and clocked 1:42 and 36 seconds at the Reading Half marathon in April.
He will be putting together a group of 14 called ‘Max’s team’ to complete the last half marathon, including his wife Suzy, brother, nephew, niece and friends.
“The encouragement I’ve received has been amazing and a great boost. It’s so motivational and means so much to me that people are touched by the memory of my son, Max,” he added.
Visit http://www.justgiving.com/GarethRalphs to add your support.
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