Two keen runners are taking part in a half-marathon in memory of a little boy who touched their lives.
Ewan Gordon, 42, and Claire Court, 39, who both live in Bicester, are running in the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon on October 12 as part of ‘Team Thomas’ in memory of nine-year-old Thomas Laurie.
In 2012, Ewan set up a campaign called Running for Thomas Laurie, which aims to raise awareness of Cockayne Syndrome.
Thomas died from the rare premature ageing disorder in February this year.
Ewan, who is a close friend of Thomas’ parents, Catherine and Richard, said: “Running for Thomas Laurie is about saying thank you to the charities that helped the Laurie family.
“The campaign started off with just me and now just two years on I have a whole team of fundraisers including five marathon runners, a triathlete and even a team of roller bladers. The list goes on.
“Thomas was such a wonderful little boy who touched the lives of everyone that he met.
“And we hope that more and more people are inspired and touched by his story.”
He will be joined by Claire in a team of 20 runners, and they will be raising money for Helen and Douglas House, who provided care for Thomas throughout his life.
Helen and Douglas House also provided a flat for the family close to the hospice so they could function as normal as possible while Thomas was being treated.
Ellie, Thomas’ older sister, benefitted from the sibling club which Helen and Douglas House set up to help siblings with bereavement counselling and taking them on fun weekends away.
Claire, who knew Thomas through working at the school he attended with her children, said: “I only knew Thomas briefly but he impacted my life in such a strong way.
“He had a fantastic character full of mischief, I’ll always remember him chasing bubbles around the school in his toy car.
“His fantastic strength and character and the wonderful support he had from his family has been a true inspiration and it makes me want to do what I can to help.”
Claire will be running with butterflies on her shoulder to represent all the children who have lost their fight with Cockayne Syndrome,
As well as the half-marathon, Ewan will be running from John O’Groats to Land’s End while dressed as Forrest Gump.
To donate to Ewan and Claire’s cause, visit www.justgiving.com/Ewan-Gordon3
Entries for the race are still open and are priced at £34 or £32 for UKA affiliated runners.
For more information, running tips and race day guidance, visit www.oxfordhalf.co.uk