Friday 5th July started as a perfectly normal day. After a day in the office I headed home to meet my wife and kids on their way home from cricket practise. It was a lovely sunny day and everything seemed fine.

My wife had had a couple of missed calls from her friend during the afternoon. Therefore, when we got home she headed upstairs to call her back. I was in the kitchen making the kids dinner when she came back down in tears. Our friend Pete was in intensive care with Sepsis and the prognosis wasn’t good. We prayed for good news but the following morning we woke to a message from his wife. Pete had passed away overnight, he was only 40yrs old.

Pete was not only a good friend, he was godfather to our three kids and they adored him. They had nicknamed him Mr Incredible, as he did have a passing resemblance to the character. On that fateful Saturday, our daughter had a dance show. We took the decision to delay telling them the bad news until the evening, and not take away the focus from her. I have to admit that it was probably one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. However, in the meantime we had the day to get through and the processing of our own feelings.

For my kids their Uncle Pete was their own Mr Incredible

The dance show was split over two performances. My wife took the two boys home after we had watched her dance in the first show. I however, had time on my hands until I needed to take her home after the second. I’d always planned on using the time to go for a run. But, with what had happened, I needed that space to think more than ever. I do love how when I am running I can just be alone with my thoughts.

As I ran along the river and considered the days events, I made a decision. After multiple failures to get in to the London Marathon via the ballot, I had put my name forward to a few charities to increase my chances. However, as a short rain shower started, I made my decision. If this was the year I finally got in, I would run for The UK Sepsis Trust. Obviously my odds were still long but it just felt like maybe fate would intervene this year.

Pete was loved my by kids, telling them was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

Fast forward a couple of months and it came to ballot results time. I’d just lost my job as a result of the failure of Thomas Cook. In my mind, surely karma was building up and this meant that luck had to be on my side this time? I was over the moon when the “You’re In” magazine dropped through my door. Finally I have the opportunity to tick off a bucket list item. Having checked with Pete’s wife that she was happy for me to run in his memory, my next email was to The UK Sepsis Trust to join their team. She did point out that Pete would have probably told me I was crazy (very true!). But, I know he’d have been happy for me doing something that makes me happy.

Because of my multiple historic failures to successfully get in to London, I had also already signed up for Manchester Marathon next year as an insurance plan. After a bit of contemplation (and some twitter advice), I decided that I would in fact do the double. I will be running both to raise money for the charity. Having never run the marathon distance before, how hard can it really be to do two in three weeks??

But what exactly is Sepsis? I have to admit that when Pete died, I had heard of Sepsis but didn’t actually know much about it. Choosing to run for them has led to me obviously doing more research. Remarkably Sepsis claims the lives of over 52,000 people in the UK every year. This is more than Lung, Breast and Bowel Cancer combined. It is your bodies own immune system going into overdrive when fighting an infection. Unfortunately, this can then cause your own immune system to attack organs and other tissues. However, with early diagnosis, it can be treated. The UK Sepsis Trust estimates that over 14,000 people could be saved every year with better understanding and earlier treatment of the condition.

Money that they raise is used in raising awareness of the condition in both the public and medical professions. Earlier diagnosis will save lives. They also help support survivors of the condition as 1/4 of all sepsis survivors suffer permanent, life-changing after effects. Every penny that I raise will hopefully help towards an additional saved life so that others don’t have to go through what we, along with Pete’s friends and family have.

If you have read this far and would like to find out more about Sepsis, then please do click on the image below. Likewise, if you are able to donate anything for this great cause, then please do check out my Justgiving page and I thank you so much in advance.

By Mike

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