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Dad’s marathon effort for Molly Ollys pays for 7 wishes for 7 children with life-threatening illnesses

Apr 5, 2022 | News

A Hereford dad has raised almost £3,500 for Molly Ollys after we supported his young son through cancer – just months after losing his wife to the same disease.

Jamie Gittins ran the Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday 27th March in 2 hours 45 minutes, dressed as Olly The Brave. Jamie said; “I have never been so hot in all my life as when I was wearing the lion suit during the half marathon. But there was never any doubt that I wouldn’t run in it as Molly Ollys has been so supportive to my eight-year-old son, Freddie who is being treated for leukaemia.

“This amazing charity not only sent Fred an Olly The Brave to comfort him, but they also organised for Fred and my other son, Noah, 11, to go to a VIP evening of WWE live wrestling which was Fred’s ultimate wish. Seeing the joy on their faces made the boiling hot trek in the suit worth it!”

Training and preparing for the half marathon has been a challenge for 40 year old Jamie, as he has had to take Freddie back and forth regularly to hospital for various treatments at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. But after what the family has been through over the past 18 months, they are not fazed by anything.

Jamie, who is head of Kings Caple Primary School in Hereford, explains that Freddie was diagnosed with leukaemia only three months after Fred’s mum, 41 year old Emma, died from breast cancer.

Jamie said; “Telling the boys Em had died was the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do. It absolutely broke their hearts. All the family were there because I said I didn’t think I could do it on my own.

“But then having to tell Freddie that he also had cancer was another heart-breaking moment in my life that haunts me to this day. But the oncologist told me that if you’re going to get leukaemia, the type Fred’s got, is the best one to get. The success rate is over 90% for his age. It has been rough for many months, but he will be OK.”

We were set up following the experiences of Molly over the five years she received treatment for kidney cancer at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Since the Charity started 10 years old, we have supported more than 16,000 children across the UK, we’ve given more than 13,000 Olly lions and books to children and have donated more than 2,500 wishes.

Co-founder of Molly Ollys and Molly’s mum, Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “Jamie and the boys are just amazing. We have been truly inspired by their strength and bravery and we are very grateful to Jamie for raising funds for us by running the half marathon. Each wish we donate to a child costs around £500, so the money Jamie has raised will pay for 7 wishes for 7 children facing unimaginable health challenges, and it will help to put smiles on their faces – just like the ones on Fred and Noah’s faces after WWE!

“Jamie attracted lots of attention and awareness for Molly Ollys by sporting the suit. We thought he was crazy to wear it, but we applaud his stamina and determination and the money will make a very real difference to very poorly children.”

Jamie again: “It’s been a horrible year, but Fred is on the final block of treatment which should finish towards the end of April. Once this block is done, he’ll be able to have his lines out and will be in maintenance, where everything calms down a little and the treatment is not so intense. He will still have treatment for the next 2+ years, but it won’t be as regular as it has been up until now.”

You can still donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jamie-gittins3

Every donation, whatever size, helps a seriously unwell child

HELP MAKE WISHES COME TRUE

Current data suggests that 12 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer every day, and that 1,900 children under the age of 14 in the UK are diagnosed each year.

More children are diagnosed with a range of other, often rare, conditions and illnesses that are also life-threatening.

Molly Ollys is committed to helping as many of these children and their families as possible, and works hard to raise the necessary funds to be able to help those who contact us.

You can help us do this by making a donation, joining in with our fundraising events, running your own events, using Give as You Live when you are shopping, and by leaving a legacy in your will. Please visit our How you can help page to find out more.